A gold medalist sprinter has described the inclusion of athletes born male in women’s sports, as unfair, adding that we’re “living in ridiculous times.”
Top British sprinter James Ellington made his comment s on Twitter , after transgender cyclist, Rachel McKinnon, who was born male, won gold for a second time at the Masters Track Cycling World Championships in Manchester.
“If I decide from now on I want to be recognised as a woman and break all the women’s British sprint records, is that fair? Living in ridiculous times,” the champion athlete said.
If I decide from now on I want to be recognised as a woman and break all the WOMENS british sprint records, is that fair 🤷🏽♂️
Living in ridiculous times 😂.
— James Ellington (@Jellington100m) October 21, 2019
37-year old McKinnon is breaking records in women’s cycling and , competing in the female 35-39 sprint category, had set a new world best time in qualifying, with this victory adds to the silver won in the 500m time trial earlier this week.
Critics say that its the latest case of a trans athlete who was born male having an unfair advantage over women.
Transgender athletes are now allowed to compete in women’s sports if they have been on hormone therapy but they are not required to have undergone gender confirmation surgery.
“[I] could take all the testosterone suppression medication in the world, I’m still going to have a far superior advantage over biologically BORN women,” tweeted James Ellington.
His comments echoed statements on the issue from tennis legend Martina Navratilova who said ” McKinnon has vigorously defended her right to compete, pointing out that, when tested, her levels of testosterone, the male hormone, were well within the limits set by world cycling’s governing body. Nevertheless, at 6ft tall and weighing more than 14 stone, she appeared to have a substantial advantage in muscle mass over her rivals.”
While Ellington was attacked on Twitter by trans activists, he also received support – in particular from women and from female athletes.
Olympic bronze medalist Emily Diamond backed Ellington’s comment saying: “This infuriates me. What can we do? I don’t understand how it’s not obvious sport categories need to be sex not gender.”
This infuriates me. What can we do? I don't understand how it's not obvious sport categories need to be sex not gender. 😭💔
— Emily Diamond OLY (@EmilyDiamond11) October 22, 2019
I just have no… no one was listened to when we spoke up in the 70/80s, we were called bad losers, even by the head of my own swimming association & a whole generation of young girls in sport lost out to testosterone filled East Germans .. it mustn’t happen again @iocmedia
— Sharron Davies MBE (@sharrond62) October 22, 2019
In a follow-up tweet, Ellington said: “So far I’m a bigot, transphobic, disgusting, uneducated and ohh racist amongst few other things. That’s what you get for speaking up for women in sport.”
So far I’m a bigot, transphobic, disgusting, uneducated and ohh racist 😂😂😂 amongst few other things 🤷🏽♂️.
That’s what you get for speaking up for women in sport.
— James Ellington (@Jellington100m) October 22, 2019
But the sprinter also responded: “Just give it time, once the public start seeing women in combat sports get annihilated and seriously hurt, then maybe just maybe something might be done.”