Transgender athletes are still able to run in the female category of UK women’s races almost six months after a ban was introduced to prevent them from doing so.
The strict clampdown by UK Athletics was introduced in March but a glaring loophole in the rules, which were brought into effect to deny those who have been through male puberty from taking part in women’s athletics, has now emerged.
As a result, the effectiveness and enforcement of the restrictions are under question.
The rules imposed a ban on transwomen competing in the female category of any event under the jurisdiction of UKA. However, they also included a controversial exemption for competitions in which the places had already been secured.
They did state, though, that those affected ‘may not accept any prize and their results will not count towards any record, qualifying time or mark, or team scoring’.
Nevertheless, the rulebook was effectively flouted when a team featuring a transwoman was awarded first place during a running event held last month.
The identity of the individual has been withheld by The Telegraph.
Approached over the result of the event, the race director explained the discrepancy came from an honest mistake and that he was in the process of making corrections.
He also revealed the runner had entered the female category two weeks before the UKA ban came into force. The rules were followed after the runner was excluded from the prize ceremony despite clocking the second-fastest women’s time.
The individual is now listed as the second-fastest female, though her results were not initially included on the women’s list, which remains accessible online.
Rivals of the runner in question have hit out at UKA’s ‘transitional arrangements’, which has allowed her to enter the female category of races as far as this December.
‘This is the unfairness of it all,’ a rival of the team wrongly awarded first place told The Telegraph. ‘I want to talk about it – and I really do. I know people have had death threats [online from pro-transgender lobbyists].’
She then added: ‘I’ve got to be careful of my safety. It sounds very trivial but it is actually very frustrating because I work hard and have aimed to be in the top 100 of my age group for women nationally.
‘How many other transgender males-to-females are being classed in these results?
‘I train incredibly hard. I do 15 hours of running and training a week. I can’t compete with somebody who is a man. And you sometimes think, “Why do I bother?”‘
She insisted that she held no personal grudge against the transgender runner.
Contacted by The Telegraph, governing body England Athletics have said it was ‘highly unlikely’ that a transgender women’s results would affect a rival’s Masters selection and pointed to ‘processes in place to check eligibility’.
Meanwhile, UKA have acknowledged ‘elongated entry periods’ for events mean that transitional arrangements could impact the sport for an extended amount of time.