The Olympic chief supports transgender weightlifter Laurel Hubbard's participation.
The International Olympic Committee's president stated that the organization supports transgender weightlifter Lauren Hubbard's participation in the Tokyo Olympics.
At a press conference on Saturday, Thomas Bach expressed his unwavering support for the 43-year-old New Zealander, who is set to make history as the Summer Games' first openly transgender athlete.
In response to a question from a New Zealand reporter about how the IOC determined whether Hubbard should compete against cisgender women, Bach was succinct.
“The International Weightlifting Federation established the qualification rules prior to the start of the qualifications, and these rules apply,” the IOC chief responded without missing a beat. “Rules cannot be changed in the midst of a competition.”
Additionally, he stated that the rules will be re-evaluated at a later date.
“At the same time, the IOC is conducting an inquiry with all relevant stakeholders — medical experts, social experts, human rights experts, and, of course, international federations — to review these rules and ultimately develop some guidelines, which cannot be rules because this is a question with no one-size-fits-all solution,” he explained. ”It's a situation that varies by sport.”
Transgender female athletes are permitted to compete under current IOC guidelines if their testosterone levels have been below 10 nanomoles per litre for at least 12 months prior to their first competition.
Later in the press conference, when asked if he could offer his "personal and unequivocal support" for an athlete's participation, the IOC president left no doubts. She will indeed compete in this year's Olympics, as she is permitted to do so under current rules.
“The rules are in place and must be followed, and you cannot change the rules while a qualification system is in operation,” he explained. “This is what all of the world's athletes are counting on: that the rules are followed.”
Hubbard, who won a silver medal at last year's world championships in California and is currently ranked 16th in the world, will compete in the women's super-heavyweight 87-kg (192-pound) weightlifting category.