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Fair Competition: World Sailing Adopts New Transgender Participation Policy

At its mid-year meeting in 2024, the World Sailing Council voted to adopt new eligibility rules for transgender athletes. These rules are slated to take effect on January 1, 2025, across all World Sailing events.

The new policy lists the eligibility conditions for transgender and non-binary athletes. Notably, transgender female athletes will have to meet the following criteria to be eligible to compete in the female category of an event, or as a female athlete in the mixed category of an event:

  • Provide a written and signed declaration affirming female gender identity;
  • Not have undergone male puberty beyond Tanner Stage 2;
  • Maintain testosterone levels below 2.5 nmol/L continuously for at least twelve months before the first event they wish to participate in, supported by medical certificates submitted six weeks prior; and
  • Maintain testosterone levels below 2.5 nmol/L at all times to remain eligible for competition in the Female category or for recognised performances in the Female classification.

A transgender male athlete would be required to provide a written and signed declaration affirming their male gender identity to be eligible to compete in a male category or as a male in a mixed category at an event.

When it comes to non-binary athletes, those who have gone through male puberty have to meet the criteria applicable to transgender female athletes to compete in the female category of an event or as a female in a mixed category. Conversely, those who have gone through male puberty or commenced hormone treatment may automatically compete in the male category of an event or as a male in a mixed category at an event.