Last year at least three openly transgender women qualified for and were accepted into the Boston Marathon. The marathon confirmed in 2018 that transgender runners could compete under the gender they identified as without being on hormones. Marathon world record-holder Paula Radcliffe tweeted yesterday in response to an article that Canadian Running published in 2018 regarding this change. She wrote, “The serious significance here is worse because Boston is notoriously difficult to qualify for. Opening women’s QT’s up to any male who ‘self-identifies’ as female is unfair because the end result will be that female BQT’s are made harder due to the added numbers achieving them.”
Radcliffe’s argument is that the women qualifying wouldn’t have been able to make the cutoff time as their gender at birth, making the women’s field even more competitive. She continued to write, “They can identify however they want to. Just not in a sporting competition where they can deprive a woman of a qualifying place. This is because qualifying times for women are slower than for men since biological men are capable of running faster than biological women.”
The serious significance here is worse because Boston is notoriously difficult to qualify for. Opening women’s QT’s up to any male who ‘self-identifies’ as female is unfair because the end result will be that female BQT’s are made harder due to the added numbers achieving them. https://t.co/P9BQS95qak
— Paula Radcliffe (@paulajradcliffe) April 7, 2019
The B.A.A. is not the only organization that has implemented a no-questions-asked policy regarding transgender athletes. U Sports, which is the national governing body of university sport in Canada, released a similar policy in the fall of 2018, stating that student athletes are allowed to compete on the team corresponding to either their gender at birth or their gender identity, provided they comply with the Canadian Anti-Doping Program. They are still eligible to participate in U Sports for five years, and they may only compete on sport teams of one gender during any single academic year.