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Transgender Lifter’s Record Ousted From Female Raw Powerlifting Competition

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Mary Margaret Olohan Social Issues Reporter

The president of 100% Raw Powerlifting Federation removed the record set by a transgender weight lifter for a national women’s championship because the lifter is a biological man.

Paul Bossi, the president of the 100% Raw Powerlifting Federation, said Wednesday in a statement posted to Twitter that Mary Gregory is a biological man but did not reveal this to the 100% Raw Powerlifting Federation League. The group boasts of their authenticity in weight lifting, saying they are “100% raw” and do not allow any wraps, supports or enhancing drugs.

“The lifter identifies as female, and so entered the contest (with no consultation with the Meet Director or (100% Raw Officials),” Bossi said in a 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.”

“Since the lifter’s gender classification for the purpose of our rules is not consistent with female, no female records will be broken by these lifts,” the statement continues. Bossi also revealed that the 100% Raw Powerlifting Federation is creating a transgender weight lifting division to which Gregory will be transferred.

Mary Gregory posted an April 9 photo on Instagram that shows the differences in the lifter’s appearance before and after transitioning, saying “One year ago I took my first steps in Public as openly female. Lots of things have changed!” Other posts depict Gregory lifting and discussing the emotional toll from the weight lifting controversy.

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One year ago I took my first steps in Public as openly female. Lots of things have changed! ???? 9 mos on hormones! ???? no longer on anti depressants! ???? changed my name! ???? divorced and living on my own! ???? on Instagram! ???? have a Facebook page! ???? down almost 35lbs! ???? competed in my first Pull for Pride! ???? joined a rad gym! ???? actually made some legit gym PRs! ???? started a new business! ???? started reffing meets! ???? made so many wonderful new friends!!! – My life has changed so much, gotten so much richer! A year ago I couldn't have imagined all this! So excited to see were the next year takes me!!! – #transgenderwoman#transisbeautiful#thisiswhattranslookslike#myjourney#mystory#transformationtuesday#lovinglife#liftlunchlearnrva#morefemalestrength#strongwomen

A post shared by Mary Gregory (@75marylifts) on

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It was a long weekend. Usually I recharge my emotional batteries on the weekend. Take some me time- do some cleaning, chill on the couch with the fur babies, meal prep, maybe watch some Netflix. Was gone all day Saturday and Sunday. After the emotional roller coaster of this last week, I was feeling mentally rough yesterday afternoon. That carried over into this morning. I didn't want to get up, certainly didn't want to go to the gym. But I did. Couldn't focus and you see the results. A miss on my top set. So what did I do- I came back and got it(swipe right to see). One thing this sport has taught me is to never give up. – Sumo DL 305×6 320×6 335×0- miss 335×6- got it! 305×6 TNG bench 180×5 187.5×5 195×5 180×5 SSB 140×10 150×10 160×10 140×10 – #transisbeautiful#richmondbalance#exodusstrength#hereonpurpose#sharetheplatform#powerliftingmotivation

A post shared by Mary Gregory (@75marylifts) on

The incident follows a May decision by the Swiss Court of Arbitration for Sport that though restrictions on testosterone levels can be discriminatory, such discrimination is a “necessary, reasonable and proportionate means” of ensuring the equality of female track and field competitions. The case drew international attention after two-time Olympic champion Caster Semenya, widely believed to be intersex, challenged testosterone limits for female athletes. (RELATED: Athletes With High Testosterone Can Be Barred From Women’s Sports)

Olympic athletes in the United Kingdom critiqued Gregory’s decision to enter the female weight lifting league on Twitter.

“Any records set by trans woman ( those born males with male biology & advantages) should be removed when all of this confusion & unfairness is sorted out .. otherwise just like the cheating world records of the testosterone fuelled East Germans they will stand for years,” tweeted Olympic medalist Sharron Davies.

“This is a trans woman a male body with male physiology setting a world record & winning a woman’s event in America in powerlifting. A woman with female biology cannot compete.. it’s a pointless unfair playing field,” Davies also replied to another user.

“Its a bloody joke and all getting ready for biological women to boycott certain events,” tweeted two-time Olympic gold medalist runner Kelly Holmes. “Have a trans category if need be but even better a trans games.Otherwise  i’m starting to worry about the backlash and abuse that the trans community will get from spectators. It will happen!”

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