Transgender runner CeCe Telfer declared ineligible for US Olympic trials

EUGENE, Oregon – Transgender runner CeCe Telfer will not be eligible to compete in the women’s 400-meter hurdles at the US Olympic Trials because Telfer did not meet the conditions set out by World Athletics in its eligibility rules for certain women’s events.

Telfer competed for the Division II men’s team Franklin Pierce, took time off, and then returned to compete for the women’s team. In 2019, Telfer won the NCAA title.

Telfer was entered for this week’s trials, but World Athletics released new guidelines in 2019 that closed women’s international events between 400 meters and one mile to athletes whose testosterone levels were 5 nonomoles per liter (nmol / L ) or more.

Telfer was on the list of qualified athletes for Friday’s prelims. A starting list was released Wednesday night without Telfer’s name. USA Track and Field has released a short statement that athletes must meet World Athletic requirements to be eligible for trials.

The USATF said it was informed last week that Telfer had not met the conditions and the federation passed this information on to the runner.

Telfer chief executive David McFarland told The Associated Press in a statement on Wednesday that Telfer would abide by the ruling.

“CeCe has looked to the future and continues to train,” said McFarland. “She will compete nationally – and globally – again soon.”

To be eligible for an event, an athlete must remain below the 5 nmol / L threshold for 12 months. In its guidelines, World Athletics says athletes can lower their testosterone levels by using an oral contraceptive pill, a monthly injection of a hormone therapy drug, or surgery to remove their testes.

“It is their choice whether or not to receive treatment, and [if so] what treatment to have, ”World Athletics said in a Q&A discussing its policy.

In a blog last week in Women’s Health, Telfer said, “I love what I’m doing and I’m starting to live my truth and live my authentic life. I believe this is my way of being the change I want to see in the world. And I live by it every day. “

In its statement, the USATF said it “strongly supports inclusiveness and provides a clear path to participation in sport for all, while maintaining fair competition.”

“If CeCe qualifies for the participation of transgender athletes in the future, we wholeheartedly support their participation in international events as a member of the USATF team,” the statement said.

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