A transgender weightlifter who transitioned from male to female caused outrage after he won a female competition Sunday.
Laurel Hubbard, born a male, outperformed his female competitors in the Australian International competition, reports AU.News.
Hubbard lifted about 591 pounds, compared to runner-up Iuniarra Sipaia, who lifted approximately 572 pounds.
One weightlifter pointed out that Hubbard competing in the women’s division could be unfair.
“We all deserve to be on an even playing field,” Deborah Acason, from the Australian Weightlifting Federation, told 1News Now. “It’s difficult when you believe that you’re not. If it’s not even, why are we doing the sport?”
Acason went on to add that some adjustments need to be made to even out the playing field.
“We’ve got two categories here, it’s been great that women can do the sport of weightlifting…but I think we need to look at a decision where we can give people in this situation, have a category where everyone can compete on an even playing field,” Acason said.
The Olympic Weightlifting New Zealand adheres to the policy set out by the International Olympic Committee (ICE). The ICE only recognizes male or female as genders, therefore transgender women are seen as female.
They must prove that their testosterone level “has been below 10 (nanomoles per litre) for at least 12 months prior to her first competition” in order to compete.
Some of Hubbard’s competitors seemed less than pleased with his win.
“She is who she is. That’s the way the politics…and what the New Zealanders have decided. I can’t say much more than that. She is seen as female and that’s the way it is,” Kaitlyn Fassina, who came in third place, said.
A sportswriter defended Hubbard being able to compete with other women.
‘Therefore she is completely entitled, I believe, to compete and anybody who says otherwise is either being, I think, very prejudiced, which is the main thing I would imagine, or just jealous of the fact that maybe this woman has come along and she’s better than the female competitors,” Phil Gifford said.
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