The International Rugby League is banning trans women from international women’s matches until a policy is developed

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Lewis Ludlam of England warms up ahead of the International match between England and Barbarians at Twickenham Stadium on June 19, 2022 in London, England.

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Transgender women will be barred from sanctioned international women’s rugby league matches “pending further research to enable IRL to implement a formal transgender inclusion policy,” the International Rugby League (IRL) said in a statement.

The IRL’s statement on the participation of transgender people came after FINA, the international governing body for elite swimming, said it was only open to swimmers who died before age 12. FINA members voted 71.5% in favor of the new Politics.

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A general view of Twickenham, home of England Rugby during the International match between England and Barbarians at Twickenham Stadium on June 19th 2022 in London, England.

A general view of Twickenham, home of England Rugby during the International match between England and Barbarians at Twickenham Stadium on June 19th 2022 in London, England.
(CameraSport via Getty Images)

The IRL relied on the International Olympic Committee’s 2021 publication “Framework on Fairness, Non-Discrimination and Inclusion on the Basis of Gender Identity and Sex Variations” in its decision-making.

“The IOC concluded that it is the job of each sport and its governing body to determine how an athlete can have a disproportionate advantage compared to their peers – bearing in mind the different nature of each sport,” the league said.

“In order to avoid unnecessary welfare, legal and reputational risks to International Rugby League competitions and those participating in them, the IRL believes it has a need and responsibility to undertake further consultation and conduct additional investigations before issuing its policy completes.”

The IRL said it will continue to work to develop policies that are fair to all.

Lewis Ludlam of England warms up before the International match between England and the Barbarians at Twickenham Stadium on June 19th 2022 in London, England.

Lewis Ludlam of England warms up before the International match between England and the Barbarians at Twickenham Stadium on June 19th 2022 in London, England.
(RFU/The RFU Collection via Getty Images)

“To achieve this, the IRL will seek to work with the eight finalists of the 2021 Women’s Rugby League World Cup to obtain data to inform a future trans women inclusion policy in 2023 that will reflect the unique characteristics of the rugby league into account,” the IRL said.

FINA CREATES COUNTERPLAY OVER NEW ‘GENDER INCLUSION POLICY’ FOR TRANSGENDER SWIMMERS

FINA’s announcement came on Sunday.

There was also a proposal for a new “open competition policy”. The organization said it is establishing “a new working group that will spend the next six months looking at the most effective ways to establish this new category.”

In the 24-page policy released Sunday, FINA said transgender women and athletes whose legal gender and/or gender identity is female may compete in FINA-sanctioned events if “they can demonstrate to FINA’s satisfaction that they have not experienced any part of male puberty beyond Tanner stage 2 or before age 12, whichever is later.

A logo of FINA, the international governing body for swimming, diving, water polo, synchronized swimming and open water swimming, is displayed during the FINA World Championships in Rome July 25, 2009.

A logo of FINA, the international governing body for swimming, diving, water polo, synchronized swimming and open water swimming, is displayed during the FINA World Championships in Rome July 25, 2009.
(MARTIN BUREAU/AFP via Getty Images)

The athlete must demonstrate that they “have complete androgen insensitivity and therefore have not been able to experience male puberty” or “they are androgen sensitive but male puberty was at Tanner stage 2 or before 12 their serum (or plasma) testosterone levels were below 2 .5 nmol/L” or “an unintentional deviation from the requirement below 2.5 nmol/L may result in a retrospective disqualification of the results and/or an expected period of suspension or “an intentional deviation” for deviations less than 2.5 nmol/L may result in retrospective disqualification of results and an expected period of Ineligibility equal to or equal in length to the FINA DRC time limits for intentional anabolic steroid anti-doping rule violations.”

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Transgender athletes who do not meet the eligibility criteria may compete in “any open events” that the organization may develop in the future.

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