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Martina Navratilova endorses World Athletics' decision on transgender women

"World is finally waking up" - Martina Navratilova endorses World Athletics' decision to bar transgender women from female competitions

Martina Navratilova has expressed her support to a new rule excluding transgender women from female events. With the rule having recently been introduced by World Athletics, Navratilova called for wider action across all sports regarding this issue.

On March 23, the international athletics governing body's president, Lord Coe, announced that no transgender athlete who had undergone male puberty would be eligible to compete in the female category in any international event. The new rule regarding transgender athletes will be put into effect on March 31.


In a piece for The Sunday Times, Navratilova expressed her delight at the decision made by World Athletics and stated her desire to see other sporting bodies making similar moves.

"It seems the world is finally waking up and using common sense. I just hope other sports can quickly follow suit," she wrote.

Martina Navratilova has always been vocal about her stance on this issue. She believes allowing transgender women to compete in the female category would give them an unfair advantage over biological female athletes.

The 18-time Slam champion reiterated that very point in her column and argued that champions are respected because they excel beyond their peers when all aspects of the competition are equal. According to Navratilova, while some athletes may have inherent advantages, efforts should be made to level the playing field, and allowing transgender women in female categories would do the opposite.

"Athletes who are champions are revered for a reason. They rise above the rest when everything else is equal. Some may say that nothing is ever completely equal. Yes, somebody may be taller or naturally stronger, or have more coaching opportunities, but you try to make as level a playing field as you possibly can. Then, in that field, somebody is going to be the best," she stated.
"But when you change that starting position and do not begin from a level playing field, then it is obviously unfair," she added.

Martina Navratilova calls for an "open" category for transgender women

Martina Navratilova speaking to the press

Martina Navratilova has been working with the Women’s Sport Policy Working Group to find a way to include transgender women in sports without creating a disadvantage for biological females. The Czech-American has come up with the idea of having an "open" category for everyone, including transgender women.

"Biological females are most likely to compete in the biological female category, as that’s their best shot at winning and it maintains the principle of fairness. With an “open” category there are no question marks, no provisos, no asterisks, no doubts. It’s a simple solution," she stated.

In other news, Martina Navratilova shared that she was cancer-free on March 21. She made her return to the commentary desk at the ongoing Miami Open.

Edited by
Shyam Kamal
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