Salem Radio Network News Wednesday, July 6, 2022

Sports

International Rugby League bans transgender players from women’s competition

(Reuters) – Rugby league has banned transgender players in women’s international competition until further notice, Australian media reported on Tuesday, following global swimming’s decision to restrict transgender participation.

The International Rugby League (IRL) said in a statement published by Australian media that it needed to further consult and “complete additional research” before finalising its transgender policy.

“Until further research is completed to enable the IRL to implement a formal transgender inclusion policy, male-to-female (transwomen) players are unable to play in sanctioned women’s international rugby league matches,” the statement said.

“It is the IRL’s responsibility to balance the individual’s right to participate … against perceived risk to other participants, and to ensure all are given a fair hearing.”

The London-based IRL was unavailable for comment.

On Sunday, swimming’s world governing body FINA voted to restrict transgender athletes in elite women’s competitions and create a working group to establish an ‘open’ category for them in some events as part of its new policy.

The decision has prompted other sports to review their policies on transgender athletes, including global soccer and athletics.

The IRL said it would work with the eight nations competing at the women’s Rugby League World Cup hosted by England in November to obtain data to inform a transgender policy in 2023.

“The IRL will continue to work towards developing a set of criteria, based on best possible evidence, which fairly balance the individual’s right to play with the safety of all participants,” the organisation said.

(Reporting by Ian Ransom in Melbourne; Editing by Himani Sarkar and Christopher Cushing)

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