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NCAA Announced Reformation in Trangender Athlete Policy

Photo: Sports Illustrated

The NCAA announced Wednesday that it would be altering its policy concerning transgender athletes. 

According to reports, the brand new system to authorize transgender athletes will abide by a sport-by-sport model identical to the adoption by the U.S. and international Olympic committees. 

Whether or not there was no international federation policy, in that case, the “previously established IOC policy criteria would be followed,” said the NCAA. 

In a statement on Wednesday to announce the change, president at Georgetown University and chairman of the NCAA board John DeGioia said, “We are steadfast in our support of transgender student-athletes and the fostering of fairness across college sports.”

Effective immediately, the Board of Governors voted for the new policy because it “preserves opportunity for transgender student-athletes while balancing fairness, inclusion and safety for all who compete,” as per a report. 

“It is important that NCAA member schools, conferences and college athletes compete in an inclusive, fair, safe and respectful environment and can move forward with a clear understanding of the new policy,” DeGioia said further. 

Mark Emmert, President at NCAA, said in an issued statement that the new policy moves collegiate sports in close proximity to Olympic standards. 

“Approximately 80% of U.S. Olympians are either current or former college athletes,” Emmert said. “This policy alignment provides consistency and further strengthens the relationship between college sports and the U.S. Olympics.”

In November of 2021, the International Olympic Committee reformed its policy on transgender participation, realizing that testosterone levels have nothing to do with athletes’ eligibility. 

The IOC then encouraged other governing departments of various independent sports to take part in modifying the rules and at the same time offering assistance. 

“Every athlete has the right to practice sport without discrimination and in a way that respects their health, safety and dignity,” the updated rules stated. 

“At the same time the credibility of competitive sport — and particularly high-level sporting competitions — relies on a level playing field where no athlete has an unfair or disproportionate advantage over the rest.”

IOC’s medical and scientific director Richard Budgett said then that instead of looking at only the testosterone levels, it is essential to look beyond that. 

“It’s important we broaden the evidence base. There is some interesting research that needs to come to conclusion, and that will give us much more information about performance which is the issue which is really key to determining eligibility,” Budgett remarked.

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