The BBC did not broadcast live coverage of transgender weightlifter Laurel Hubbard‘s event at the Tokyo Olympics after it warned that it would report viewers who questioned her right to compete as a woman to ‘the relevant authorities’.
The British broadcaster did not air the women’s weightlifting on Day 10 of the Games live, when the transgender New Zealand athlete crashed out of the 87kg+ category after failing to record a single valid ‘snatch’ lift, and showed eventing, showjumping and athletics instead.
It also did not broadcast US gymnast Simone Biles’ bronze-medal winning routine live on BBC1 this morning in favour of track cycling, choosing to show the event on its iPlayer and red button services.
The BBC, which provided dozens of livestreams of different sports during the 2012 and 2016 Games, is now only able to show a maximum of two live events at one time after the International Olympic Committee sold the European TV rights to US company Discovery.
But a spokesman declined to tell MailOnline why it did not air Hubbard’s event live – despite threatening to report viewers who ‘bring hate’ to the BBC Sports Twitter page to the ‘relevant authorities’ the night before the weightlifter’s event.
Hubbard’s qualification in the 87+kg category has proven divisive, with some questioning the fairness of transgender athletes who have been through male puberty competing against female athletes, especially in power sports.