Transgender weightlifter Hubbard thanks IOC before competing

Transgender weightlifter Laurel Hubbard has thanked the International Olympic Committee for helping to make it possible for her to compete at the Tokyo Games

“The Olympic Games are a global celebration of our hopes, our ideals and our values. I commend the IOC for its commitment to making sport inclusive and accessible,” Hubbard said in comments provided by the New Zealand Olympic Committee.

The IOC in 2015 drew up a set of recommendations for including transgender athletes. Many sports bodies including the International Weightlifting Federation have implemented similar policies based on the IOC recommendations. Different sports are allowed to set their own specific policies.

The IOC signaled it will release a new “framework” for transgender athletes' eligibility, taking into account newer scientific studies. That will form a basis for sports to draw up their own updated policies.

IOC medical director Richard Budgett said the organization was funding research into the effects of transitioning. Current IOC guidelines require athletes to demonstrate low testosterone levels for 12 months before a first competition.

“We funded some of those (studies) based particularly importantly on individuals who are transgender and seeing what the effect of transitioning actually has on their performance, because that’s what we really need to know,” Budgett said.

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More AP Olympics: https://apnews.com/hub/2020-tokyo-olympics and https://twitter.com/AP—Sports

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