The International Rugby League (IRL) has banned transgender athletes from participating in women’s sporting events.

On Monday, the IRL announced the ban after a similar ban on transgender athletes in women’s sports was announced by the International Swimming Federation (FINA).

“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 finalizing its policy,” the IRL said.

World Athletics chief Sebastian Coe addressed the issue saying “My responsibility is to protect the integrity of women’s sport and we take that very seriously, and if it means that we have to make adjustments to protocols going forward, we will,” adding “I’ve always made it clear — if we ever get pushed into a corner to that point where we’re making a judgment about fairness or inclusion, I will always fall down on the side of fairness.”

Sebastian Coe
World Athletics Chief Sebastian Coe 

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Despite slurs and uncalled-for taunts of transphobia, female athletes across many sports are opening up and speaking out about competing against biological males, frustrated that they are at a disadvantage from the outset.

Female athletes are joining forces on June 23rd to keep women’s sports female at an Our Bodies Our Sports rally. Their goal is to keep women’s sports, single-sex athletic competitions:

“Recently, women’s sports have come under attack. On the 50th anniversary of Title IX, join us in celebrating female athletes, and help us preserve single-sex athletic competition.”

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Our Bodies Our Sports Rally tweeted this message:

 

Skateboarder Taylor Silverman, a speaker at the upcoming rally, weathered an intense backlash when she choose to talk about competing with trans skaters, “I thought it was unfair at the time. I was really uncomfortable,” “I just participated and went through the motions of a contest. Like I would try to be a good sportsman. But the more that I sat with it and thought about it, the more I felt like I needed to say something. Because I recognize that this is an issue bigger than skateboarding. This is impacting all different sports and girls and women on all levels.”

Lia Thomas

Riley Gaines faced the same issue when she swam against and lost to Lia Thomas;

The Independent Women’s forum tweeted “It’s Time To Stand Up”

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