Parkrun should have its Government funding cut if it fails to protect women runners from transgender rivals, a bombshell report backed by Olympians claimed today.
Biological men hold at least three Parkrun female records because of its policy that lets entrants self-identify their gender, according to the Policy Exchange think tank.
Gender ideology is risking the fairness and safety of competitions for women and girls, said the analysis backed by the likes of Martina Navratilova and Sharron Davies.
The report also claimed women could be ‘alienated’ from grassroots sports and highlighted major physical advantages which biological males have over females.
It said Sports England, the Government’s non-departmental body for community sport, should tell Parkrun that it must collect participants’ data based on biological sex, rather than gender identity, and update course records to reflect this. It added: ‘If this does not happen within 12 months, taxpayers’ funding should be withdrawn.’
Research by Policy Exchange found at least three female records set at 5km (3-mile) community Parkrun events are held by biological males.
This includes the female 45-49 category at Porthcawl in South Wales which had been set in 2008 at 20.06 minutes by Deb Roberts. In May this year, Siân Longthorpe – a transgender woman who is biological male – set a new record of 18.53 minutes.
That result gained national attention when it was cited by Mara Yamauchi, a former British Olympian, as an example of what she claimed was the exclusion of women athletes and their achievements in the name of being ‘inclusive’.
The report said: ‘Given the fact that men generally have a performance advantage over women of at least 13 per cent, it is unlikely a biological female will beat Longthorpe’s time in the future.’
Longthorpe also holds the age 40-44 female record, as well as the outright female record at Parke in Devon, and the female record for ages 40-44 in Torbay Velopark.
Longthorpe is currently ranked 30th on Porthcawl’s age-grading leaderboard with an age grade of 84.11 per cent due to self-identifying into the female category.
Parkrun has an age-grading calculator which is broadly based on the World Master Athletics calculator. According to sex, Longthorpe’s age grade should be around 74.59 per cent.
Separately, transgender Lauren Jeska who was born a man has held both Aberystwyth’s ages 35-39 record and the outright female record since 2012, with a time of 17.38 minutes.
The report said: ‘Since 2012, three women have lost out on holding the outright title due to Parkrun’s gender self-ID policy.’
Jeska, a former British fell-running champion, was jailed for 18 years at Birmingham Crown Court in 2017 when a dispute over her eligibility to compete as a female athlete despite being born male turned violent.
The Oxford-educated athlete, then 42, was handed an 18-year prison sentence for repeatedly stabbing the UK Athletics human resources chief Ralph Knibbs, then 52.