Soccer May Eliminate All Testosterone Requirements for Transgender Athletes

The testosterone level may be getting boosted in women’s soccer.

According to the Daily Mail, FIFA (Federation Internationale de Football Association), soccer’s international governing body, might eliminate its testosterone-level requirements for men who identify as females.

The draft framework of the ruling body has eliminated its testosterone threshold for transgender females and suggested that footballers be allowed to compete in their self-identified gender.

The outlet clarifies that “the new regulations” are still in the consultation stage. It is understood that FIFA’s top management isn’t convinced that they should be published as it stands.

If testosterone requirements are reduced, women’s soccer will be ready for men to dominate.

The Daily Mail describes the prospect as a “radical advancement.”

It is a striking contrast to cycling.

The UCI, cycling’s supreme body, tightened the eligibility criteria for female riders last week after being prompted to reconsider their criteria by Emily Bridges, a British trans-cyclist.

The UCI reduced the testosterone limit to five nanomoles per Liter and doubled the time that a trans-athlete must suppress his testosterone to stay within this range to two.

FIFA has however recommended that no threshold be adopted after an internal review began in 2020.

FIFA might instead focus on puberty

FIFA proposed that transgender women should not compete in the female category if they have a competitive advantage due to male puberty. It is not clear how this would be decided, but an independent panel of experts from law, medicine, and psychology would evaluate each case.

Joe Rogan, an MMA commentator, spoke out about differences in the sexual development of athletes in 2019. Apart from the adult hormone levels, he also listed male benefits.

“If you’re a woman, and you’re a natural woman, and you don’t take any extra hormones or male hormones, you’re not taking steroids or any sort of performance-enhancing drugs, you’re doing your very best to compete and you’re at the top of the heap, and someone comes along and they were a man for 30 years, and decides they’re going to be a woman…and competes as a woman and destroys records and dominates you in that sport, that’s [nonsense]. This is a man who has been biologically male for over 30 years. They have testosterone running through their bodies and affecting their tendon strength and bone structure. Then they compete with women who have been living their entire lives as a woman. It is not fair. It is as much cheating as taking steroids when the other person doesn’t or taking performance-enhancing drugs when the other person doesn’t. You have — males also have a lot of advantages in terms of reaction time. There is a significant difference in the reaction time of male and female professional athletes, even those who are not trained.

Jurgen Steinacker, Chair of World Rowing’s Sports Medicine Commission seemed to suggest that he has a similar mind to Joe when discussing the soccer situation:

“If you’re allowed to self-identify and then your suitability is determined by a series of medical factors, it could lead to the dissolution of the female category.”

The International Swimming Federation (FINA), has now disqualified Lia Thomas from participating in international swimming events.

Lia insists that she is a woman.

FINA could create an “open” league of swimmers like Lia.

Transgender athletics have opened up a world of possibilities for many sports like swimming, cycling, and weightlifting. It won’t soon close. Keep watching for more.