NCAA updates policy for transgender athlete participation

INDIANAPOLIS — The NCAA updated its policy for transgender athlete participation on Wednesday, adopting a sport-by-sport approach.

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The policy shift brings the NCAA in line with the U.S. Olympic Committee and the International Olympic Committee, Sports Illustrated reported.

The NCAA’s Board of Governors voted to support participation that “preserves opportunity for transgender student-athletes while balancing fairness, inclusion and safety for all who compete,” according to a news release.

The new policy will be effective immediately.

Transgender athlete participation will now be determined by the national governing body of that particular sport, according to The Associated Press. If no national governing body exists, the international federation policy would be followed, Sports Illustrated reported. The IOC’s previously established criteria will be used if there is no international federation policy in place, according to the magazine.

“Approximately 80% of U.S. Olympians are either current or former college athletes,” NCAA President Mark Emmert said in a statement. “This policy alignment provides consistency and further strengthens the relationship between college sports and the U.S. Olympics.”

Under the new policy, transgender athletes will be required to document sport-specific testosterone levels four weeks before their sport’s championship selections, the AP reported. For the 2022–23 academic year, the deadline will be at the beginning of their sport’s season, the news outlet reported. A second documentation will be required six months after the first.

“We are steadfast in our support of transgender student-athletes and the fostering of fairness across college sports,” Georgetown president John DeGioia said in a statement. “It is important that NCAA member schools, conferences and college athletes compete in an inclusive, fair, safe and respectful environment and can move forward with a clear understanding of the new policy.”

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