IOC backs transgender weightlifter’s selection for Tokyo, says to review rules later

The International Olympic Committee on Saturday backed New Zealand’s selection of transgender weightlifter Laurel Hubbard for the Tokyo Olympics despite criticism, saying that under the current rules – which will be reviewed in future – she can compete.

“The rules for qualification have been established by the International Weightlifting Federation before the qualifications started,” said IOC President Thomas Bach. “These rules apply, and you cannot change rules during ongoing competitions.”

Bach said the rules would be reviewed with all stakeholders involved in order to set new guidelines in the future.”At the same time the IOC is in an inquiry phase with all different stakeholders … to review these rules and finally to come up with some guidelines which cannot be rules because this is a question where there is no one-size-fits-all solution,” he told a news conference. “It differs from sport to sport.”

The IOC had cleared the way in 2015 for transgender athletes to compete at the Games as women, provided their testosterone levels are below 10 nanomoles per liter for at least 12 months before their first competition.

Hubbard is set to become the first transgender athlete to compete at the Games after she was selected for the New Zealand team in the women’s super-heavyweight 87+kg category.

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