Rugby League Follows FINA Decision To Ban Trans Athletes In Women’s Matches

Rugby League Follows FINA Decision To Ban Trans Athletes In Women’s Matches

Image: International Rugby League

Rugby League has banned trans athletes from competing in international events, including in this year’s World Cup, which is set to be held in England. 

The International Rugby League (IRL) announced that players who have transitioned from male to female will be refused permission to play in sanctioned women’s international rugby league matches until further notice. This ruling came a day after the world swimming body FINA banned transgender swimmers from participating at a women’s-elite competition level. 

Transgender women have already been prevented from playing at an elite level since rugby union’s governing body World Rugby instituted a ban in October last year. 

LGBTQI advocates said that blanket bans on transgender women violated fundamental human rights principles.

Not A Gender Issue, Claims IRL

IRL Chairman Troy Grant described this decision as “not a gender issue”, but a decision made to protect women athletes.

“Women’s rugby league is the most physical contact sport and skilful sport for women in the world. Player safety is our paramount concern, and we don’t have enough information at this time to allow transgender participation,” Grant said. 

FINA Votes To Restrict Transgender Swimmers From Competitive Swimming

The IRL explained its reasoning behind the decision and cited the International Olympic committee’s (IOC) ruling last year which had published counsel regarding eligibility rules and called for evidence to prove when advantages in performance would exist during competition. The IOC ruling

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