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British Cycling: Brian Facer, Chief Executive and Frank Slevin, Chair
British Cycling Diversity and Inclusion Advisory Group: Aneela McKenna, Co-Chair and Julie Watts, Co-Chair
International Olympic Committee: Thomas Bach, President
Scottish Cycling: Nick Rennie, Chief Executive
Welsh Cycling: Anne Adams-King, Chief Executive
Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI): Amina Lanaya, Director General and David Lappartient, President UK Sport: Sally Munday, Chief Executive
On 6 April 2022, British Cycling's board of directors voted to immediately suspend its trans and non-binary participation policy, citing ‘differences in the licensing policies held by British Cycling and the UCI’. Damaging allegations were also made, stating trans-female athlete’s eligibility to race domestically ‘posed a challenge to the integrity of racing’.
We wish to draw your attention to our open letter, which was published on 17 April 2022. It has attracted 650+ individual signatories representing themselves and/or cycling clubs, plus organisations from across the UK and abroad. People and organisations from LGBTQIA+ and sporting communities have also added their support.
The International Olympic Committee states that ‘the three values of Olympism are excellence, friendship and respect’. They advise this is ‘to promote sport, culture and education and with a view to building a better world’. Furthermore they say ‘this is the idea of setting your rivalries aside’ and that ‘there is more that unites us than divides us’.
Former Dutch cyclist, Natalie van Gogh, who has the support of Olympic champion Annemiek van Vleuten, also recently questioned ‘the fairness in sport's inclusion debate’ and that ‘The UK is 15 years behind Holland when it comes to trans women in sport.’
In a report entitled ‘Fairness for whom? A critical examination into the gendered governance of international sporting policy’, Anna Posbergh from the University of Maryland, USA wrote: ‘In sporting and physical activity spaces, role models are essential considering the importance for all children and teenagers to participate regularly in physical activity, given its social, mental, and health benefits (U.S. Dept of Health Services, 2018). That is to say, alongside professional and Olympic athletes who uphold organisational and Olympic values of fairness and protection, representation is vital.’
Whatever the challenges, excluding people from sport is not the answer. Trans and non-binary communities are some of the most marginalised people in society. We owe it to them to ensure that their right to inclusion in sport and physical activity, is not only recognised, but celebrated.
Make no mistake, the actions by British Cycling, Scottish Cycling & Welsh Cycling send a clear message: you are not welcome here, you are not welcome in cycling.
We immediately request the following:
British Cycling, Welsh Cycling and Scottish Cycling reinstate their trans and non-binary participation policies, in alignment with the UCI
UK Sport conduct an urgent independent investigation into the handling of this matter
“When everyone is included, everyone wins.”
Best. Richard Hearne
PRiDE OUT Email: firstname.lastname@example.org