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Transgender runner CeCe Telfer ruled ineligible to compete in the women’s 400-meter hurdles at US Olympic trials

·2-min read
 (YouTube/WMUR-TV)
(YouTube/WMUR-TV)

Cece Telfer, a transgender runner, has been disqualified from the US team at the Olympics as she did not meet the World Athletics terms and conditions to compete in trials.

Ms Telfer was vying to become a women’s competitor for the 400 metre hurdles event in Tokyo, which had been postponed for a year due to the pandemic. However, her testosterone levels have been deemed to be too high, according to the regulating ruling bodies.

Previously, she has competed alongside the men in Division II the University of Franklin Pierce, her alma mater. Following this, she took a break and was able to compete in the women’s league, winning the 2019 NCAA.

David McFarland, her manager, said that Ms Telfer would accept the ruling.

“CeCe has turned her focus towards the future and is continuing to train. She will compete on the national – and world – stage again soon,” he said, according to the AP.

Last month, Ms Telfer authored a blog post for Women’s Health about how sports had been a saving grace during her mental health struggles and how it can do the same for other transgender people.

“Participation in sports gave me a place of belonging on a team and among peers. It helped me develop cooperative skills. It allowed me to spend time away from the parts of my life that were more difficult, where I had to pretend to be someone I wasn’t. It steered me away from the noise and pain,” she wrote.

“USATF provided CeCe with the eligibility requirements and, along with World Athletics, the opportunity to demonstrate her eligibility so that she could compete at the US Olympic Team Trials. According to subsequent notification to CeCe from World Athletics on June 22, she has not been able to demonstrate her eligibility,” the organisation said in a statement.

These requirements, announced in 2019, dictate that a competitor’s testosterone levels must be under 5 nonomoles per litre for a year.

USA Track and Field said in a statement that it “strongly supports inclusivity and providing a clear path to participation in the sport for all, while also maintaining competitive fairness.”

“If CeCe meets the conditions for transgender athlete participation in the future, we wholeheartedly back her participation in international events as a member of team USATF.”

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