Rugby league has banned transgender players from women’s international matches while it conducts further research on its inclusion policy.
The sport’s governing body said it seeks to “balance the individual’s right to participate against the perceived risk to other participants”. The move comes at a time when many sports are wrestling with trans inclusion.
Transgender swimmers were banned on Sunday from women’s elite races if they have gone through male puberty.
And Lord Coe, president of World Athletics, has indicated to the BBC that the sport could follow the example of swimming, revealing that it is ready to discuss the adoption of a new eligibility policy and that “fairness is non-negotiable. Emphasizes.
The International Rugby League (IRL) said it had considered “relevant developments in world sport” in coming to its decision to ban transgender athletes until it had completed research on its final inclusion policy.
The ban will apply to the league’s World Cup to be held in England in October. The competition includes teams from Australia, Brazil, Canada, the Cook Islands, England, France, New Zealand and Papua New Guinea.
“It is the IRL’s responsibility to balance the individual’s right to participate – a long-standing principle of rugby league and at its heart, from the day it was established – against perceived risk to other participants, and to ensure all are given a fair hearing,” the organisation said.
“The IRL will continue to work towards developing a set of criteria, based on best possible evidence, which fairly balances the individual’s right to play with the safety of all participants,” its statement added.
A number of sports have been considering their inclusion policies in recent months, especially after the International Olympic Committee ruled earlier this year that participation policies governing transgender athletes should be determined by each sport – depending on its particular characteristics.
The IRL said it would work with the nations competing at the women’s Rugby League World Cup to obtain data to inform a transgender policy in 2023.