Transexuals to compete in Olympics ~ IOC approves

Discussion in 'Bizarre and Off-Beat News' started by Casshew, May 19, 2004.

  1. Casshew

    Casshew Former Member

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    LAUSANNE, Switzerland (AP) -- Transsexuals were cleared Monday to compete in the Olympics for the first time.

    Under a proposal approved by the IOC executive board, athletes who have undergone sex-change surgery will be eligible for the Olympics if their new gender has been legally recognized and they have gone through a minimum two-year period of postoperative hormone therapy.

    The decision, which covers both male-to-female and female-to-male cases, goes into effect starting with the Athens Olympics in August.

    The IOC had put off a decision in February, saying more time was needed to consider all the medical issues.

    Some members had been concerned whether male-to-female transsexuals would have physical advantages competing against women.

    Men have higher levels of testosterone and greater muscle-to-fat ratio and heart and lung capacity. However, doctors say, testosterone levels and muscle mass drop after hormone therapy and sex-change surgery.

    IOC spokeswoman Giselle Davies said the situation of transsexuals competing in high-level sports was "rare but becoming more common."

    IOC medical director Patrick Schamasch said no specific sports had been singled out by the ruling.

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