AOC President Leaves Transgender Policy Decisions For Each Sport
Australian Olympic Committee (AOC) president, Ian Chesterman, has said individual sporting organisations are responsible for deciding on their own transgender policies, suggesting the International Olympic Committee (IOC) guidelines as an example.
The comments come following a week of developments in the world of inclusion in sport, with several international sporting organisations updating their policies of inclusion for transgender athletes in sport, particularly transgender women in sport, including FINA, FIFA and international rugby league.
FINA made the move to ban transgender athletes from elite women’s swimming competitions, leading to a similar decision by organisations such as the international organising body for rugby league, and leading to organisations including FIFA, World Athletics, and World Netball deciding to review their transgender inclusion policies.
Speaking on the IOC’s guidelines for inclusion, which leave the ultimate decision in the hands of individual sports federations to determine their rules for inclusion, Chesterman said: “The thing we constantly need to focus on is the fact that sport needs to be inclusive.”
“We need to create opportunities for every young Australian and, particularly, if you come from a marginalised group.
“We need to be encouraging you to be using sport as part of your development and your growth.
“There does come a point in time when we move through being involved in sport to at a point in elite competition where there is a need to have a fair competition, and each sport will decide how they achieve that balance.
“The IOC is really the body [that is] taking the lead on this, rather than a national Olympic Committee, and they have set out a framework which says respect must be part of it, inclusion must be part of it, but fairness must be part of it.
“So you need to balance all those things as we move through the pathway of sport, from someone who’s just starting out to someone who’s at an Olympic Games or Paralympic Games [level],” Chesterman said.