Rugby league to BAN transgender athletes from competing in international events

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Rugby league to BAN transgender athletes from competing in international events

In a brave decision, rugby league has banned transgender athletes from competing in international events such as the World Cup, just one day after the world swimming body FINA did the same.


International Rugby League (IRL) announced male-to-female players will be unable to play in sanctioned international rugby league matches until the sporting body can conduct further research into the issue. 

This includes the World Cup, which is due to be played later this year. 

'The International Olympic Committee (IOC) concluded that it is the remit of each sport and its governing body to determine how an athlete may be at a disproportionate advantage compared with their peers - taking into consideration the differing nature of each sport,' the IRL said in a statement.

'In the interests of avoiding unnecessary welfare, legal and reputational risk to International Rugby League competitions, and those competing therein, the IRL believes there is a requirement and responsibility to further consult and complete additional research before finalising its policy.'

The IRL's decision comes after FINA became the first international sporting body to take a strong and decisive approach to transgender athletes.

They made the ruling only biological women can compete in female events, while simultaneously announcing new race categories will be created for transgender athletes, who don't fit into traditional gender classifications.


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