After backlash following Austin Killips becoming the first transgender athlete to win an official Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) race at the Tour of the Gila in New Mexico on Sunday, the cycling governing body doubled down on allowing biological men to compete in women’s sports.
Former Olympian Inga Thompson said the decision to let Killips compete was “effectively killing off women’s cycling.”
Former British Olympic swimmer Sharron Davies told the Daily Mail, “This is beyond disappointing. Those in charge should hang their heads in shame. The UCI is not fit for purpose.”
Retired Canadian world champion cyclist Alison Sydor tweeted, “The current UCI rules that allow males to compete in female cycling events are not fair to female athletes.”
‘Time for UCI to admit this current rule situation is unsustainable and leaving a black mark on cycling as a fair sport for females.’
In a statement Tuesday, the group wrote, “The UCI acknowledges that transgender athletes may wish to compete in accordance with their gender identity.”
“The UCI rules are based on the latest scientific knowledge and have been applied in a consistent manner. The UCI continues to follow the evolution of scientific findings and may change its rules in the future as scientific knowledge evolves.”
Last December, Killips faced criticism after he finished third at the USA’s National Cyclocross Championships, where he was also accused of pushing another competitor off course.