Former Olympic weightlifter Tracey Lambrechs said that females are being told not to complain about New Zealand transgender athlete Laurel Hubbard and whether her inclusion in weightlifting was “fair,” Reuters reported.
Lambrechs spoke to TVNZ on Friday regarding the issue, stating that she felt “disappointed for the female athlete” who had lost out on the Tokyo Olympics spot to Hubbard, adding that the equality for women “was being taken away from us,” Reuters reported.
Hubbard is set to become the first biological male in Olympic history to compete in a women’s sport in history, prompted by a rule change that automatically qualified the weightlifter.
New Zealand weightlifter Laurel Hubbard is poised to become the first transgender athlete to compete at the #Olympic Games, a move that will reignite debate over the ethics of trans sporthttps://t.co/ZhFqFWBAS5 pic.twitter.com/ICEGyQDcS2
— AFP News Agency (@AFP) May 6, 2021
“I’ve had female weightlifters come up to me and say, ‘what do we do? This isn’t fair, what do we do?'” Lambrechs told TVNZ, according to Reuters. “Unfortunately, there’s nothing we can do because every time we voice it we get told to be quiet.” (RELATED: Former US Soccer Player Lori Lindsey Says Banning Transgender Athletes ‘Upholds White Supremacy’)
Lambrechs did not specify to Reuters if there was any sort of punishment for those who claimed unfairness in Hubbard’s inclusion.
The International Olympic Committee told Reuters Thursday that it would review guidelines while taking in account “perceived tensions between fairness/safety and inclusion/non-discrimination” while being committed to inclusion at the Tokyo Olympics.
“The IOC is developing new guidance to help ensure that athletes – regardless of their gender identity and/or sex characteristics – can engage in safe and fair competition,” The statement said, according to Reuters.
Hubbard has not yet officially been selected for the New Zealand Olympic weightlifting team, according to Reuters, but weightlifting coach Simon Kent told TVNZ that Hubbard met International Weightlifting Federation (IWF) criteria, and said, “that’s how we’re going to move forward.”
California gubernatorial candidate Caitlyn Jenner said in early May she opposed biological men participating in women’s sports. “This is a question of fairness,” Jenner said.