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Cycling New Zealand updates transgender policy to align with world cycling ban

Cycling New Zealand updates transgender policy to align with world cycling ban
October 3, 2023
Legal / Sport /

Cycling New Zealand (CNZ) has advised that it has updated its policy on transgender athletes to bring it inline with a decision made in July by the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI), the governing body for world cycling, which introduced a policy preventing female transgender athletes who transitioned after male puberty from competing in women’s races.

Announced overnight in a newsletter to stakeholders, Cycling New Zealand (CNZ) advised "we have updated our Transgender Policy to align with the recent changes made at UCI. Sport NZ have asked us to relay that all regions and all clubs should wait while the appropriate strategies and templates are finalised for compliance with the Incorporated Society Act changes. CNZ will communicate via our member organisations to provide continuity of information with the deadline for reregistering being April 2006.”

UCI’s change of rules saw it join the governing bodies in track and field and swimming as top-tier Olympic sports addressing the issue of transgender athletes and fairness in women’s events.

Explaining that the change in its policy was necessary to “ensure equal opportunities”, UCI policy stated that “female transgender athletes who have transitioned after (male) puberty will be prohibited from participating in women’s events on the UCI international calendar - in all categories - in the various disciplines.”

While Cycling New Zealand (CNZ) did not issue further detail on the change, lobby group Save Women’s Sport Australasia (SWSA), which campaigns against transgender women participating in female sport, released a press released titled ‘Cycling NZ restores fair competition for elite female cyclists’.

The press release advised “the decision only applies to elite cycling events, with rules for other events to be determined by the relevant organisers, however our hope is that CNZ gives strong guidelines to their members and local clubs running other events and categories to take the pressure off them and event organisers when male born cyclists wish to compete in the female category.”

SWSA also stated that it “understand MTB NZ and BMX NZ have agreed with the alignment to the UCI change too.”

Cycling New Zealand has not responded to a request from Australasian Leisure Management for comment.

Image credit: Shutterstock.

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