A trans weightlifter smashed four world records at a US competition was disqualified by the federation.
Mary Gregory said on her Instagram that she won ‘nine out of nine’ events at the 100% Raw Weightlifting Federation competition last weekend.
However, in a statement made earlier this week (1 May) the federation revoked Gregory of her wins because their president believes her to be a male.
Gregory took to social media last month (28 April) to tell the world about her record-breaking day.
Winning across all tournament categories, the athlete broke records in women’s squats, bench press, powerlifting, and deadlift.
But she told Outsports that the federation board discovered she was assigned male at birth.
She said: ‘I did my business while somebody watched me sitting on the toilet. And so that’s where that statement comes from, because I’m sure she told them: “Hey! This girl’s got a penis!”‘
Gregory went onto state she has been taking hormones for 11 months, reducing her natural testosterone levels.
International Olympic Committee enforced guidelines in 2016 allowing trans women to compete in all sports. So as long as they are receiving hormone replacement therapy (HRT).
When undergoing HRT, trans woman take oestrogen and testosterone blockers. They lower testosterone levels, which IOC guidelines insist is necessary for trans women in sports to guarantee ‘fair competition.’
‘Actually a male’
However, in a statement, 100% Raw Powerlifting Federation president Paul Bossi said the group has stripped Gregory of her wins because he believes she is male.
‘It was revealed that this female lifter was actually a male in the process of becoming a Transgender female,” Bossi said in the statement.
‘Our rules, and the basis of separating genders for competition, are based on physiological classification rather than identification.
‘On the basis of all information presented to the Board of Directors for this particular case, the conclusion made, is that the correct physiological classification is male.’
As a result, the board revoked Gregory’s records in the female category.
The row over trans athletes
To many a Twitter user or sport pundit, it seems that with each passing day more transphobic voices join a cacophonous debate over trans people in sports.
Moreover, with thousands of competitive sports and tournaments each with their own complex regulations surrounding the fitness and stature of athletes. Space for reconciliation seems unclear.
In track and field racing, the highest court in international sport issued a ruling that will mean all female athletes with elevated testosterone will have to take suppressants to compete in certain races.
However, misinformation around medical procedures only fuels the debate. As a result, many trans athletes, such as Rachel McKinnon, have spoken out against transphobes to promote better awareness.