Almost 23 years on these basic premises hasn’t changed, but the issue of transgender athletes is putting the issue back in the spotlight. While it is a highly polarizing issue in rugby union, it takes on a completely different hue in combat sports such as boxing.

That is why Mauricio Sulaiman, president of the World Boxing Council, has taken an active stance on the issue. He recognizes that the problem of fighting men versus women has been around for a long time. In 1994, she faced a man in a Muay Thai match in her native Netherlands.

Sulaiman never wants to do that again. His demeanor has been welcomed by sporting officials, with Liverpool’s light middleweight world champion Natasha Jonas saying the WBC is “in a fuss, but in the right way”.

And Jonas knows what she’s talking about. In 2009 Jonas defeated Bethnal He defeated Patricio his Manuel by points in the UK vs. USA international tournament held at York Hall on the Green. From 2005 to 2012, Manuel, from Indio, California, appeared in her 36 games as a woman. In 2015, Manuel underwent gender reassignment surgery and since then she has boxed against men as a man.The WBC proposal states that Manuel is only eligible to box with another woman who has turned male. be.

“I have to be clear. It’s unfair in martial arts, it’s dangerous. I think it’s the same in any sport, but it’s dangerous in martial arts,” added Jonas.

Equity and inclusivity are not always possible

Professor Ross Tucker, a sports scientist and member of World Rugby’s Transgender Regulations Committee, said the question that must be asked is ‘why does women’s sport exist? Because we recognize that there are biological differences in physiology that create performance advantages.And women’s sports exist to ensure that male advantages are eliminated.”

In an interview with Swimming World Magazine, he explained that the key is what the body has been exposed to, and that if a man’s body benefits from testosterone, your body belongs to men’s sports.

“Has this body, this physiology, been exposed and benefited from male hormones in the context of sports? Yes or no? I have been exposed to testosterone my whole life. My twin sister has not There are many differences between us, but when it comes to sports the main biological difference is not that my testosterone is higher today but that my testosterone has been higher than I have had in my entire life. What makes the difference is the work done by that hormone over the years.

“If your answer is yes, then that body belongs to the male sport. We want to be as accommodating as possible when it comes to gender identity, but we can’t eliminate the differences. women and women.”

In other words, fairness and inclusiveness are not always possible.

But what the WBC is doing does not include borderline ambiguity. As Jonas told Telegraph Sport, “It makes sense. What is acceptable? It’s a very gray area. It’s dangerous either way. If you’ve ever gone through puberty, it’s obvious which is right.

“It’s a very hot topic. As a female boxer, I have no problem with transgender boxing, but if you transition to female, you can’t compete as a female. You can’t compete with me. It’s as simple as that.” That’s what the WBC is doing. They fly their guns and do it first. We don’t yet know what the reaction will be, how it will be received and what will happen. The level of competition to be reached. It’s for those who participate in the sport, but it’s fair.”

Sulaiman reached the same conclusion, and thus strives to keep boxing at the forefront of the transgender debate.

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