Joint position statement of the International Federation of Sports Medicine (FIMS) and European Federation of Sports Medicine Associations (EFSMA) on the IOC framework on fairness, inclusion and non-discrimination based on gender identity and sex variations

Fabio Pigozzi, Xavier Bigard, Juergen Steinacker, Bernd Wolfarth, Victoriya Badtieva, Christian Schneider, Jeroen Swart, James Lee John Bilzon, Demitri Constantinou, Michiko Dohi, Luigi DI Luigi, Chiara Fossati, Norbert Bachl, Guoping Li, Theodora Papadopoulou, Maurizio Casasco, DIna Christina Janse Van Rensburg, Jean François Kaux, Sandra Rozenstoka, Jose Antonio CasajusIrina Zelenkova, Emre Ak, Bulent Ulkar, Francisco Arroyo, Anca Ionescu, André Pedrinelli, Mike Miller, Patrick Singleton, Malav Shroff, Nick Webborn, James Barrett, Blair Hamilton, Michael Geistlinger, Gianfranco Beltrami, Sergio Migliorini, Lenka DIenstbach-Wech, Stéphane Bermon, Yannis P. Pitsiladis

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

Abstract

The IOC recently published its framework on fairness, inclusion and non-discrimination based on gender identity and sex variations. This framework is drafted mainly from a human rights perspective, with less consideration for medical/scientific issues. The framework places the onus for gender eligibility and classification entirely on the International Federations (IFs), even though most will not have the capacity to implement the framework. The position of no presumption of advantage is contrary to the 2015 IOC consensus. Implementation of the 2021 framework will be a major challenge for IFs that have already recognised the inclusion of trans and women athletes with differences of sexual development (DSD) using a scientific/medical solution. The potential consequences for sports that need to prioritise fairness or safety could be one of two extremes (1) exclusion of all transgender or DSD athletes on the grounds of advantage or (2) self-identification that essentially equates to no eligibility rules. Exclusion of all transgender or DSD athletes is contrary to the Olympic charter and unlawful in many countries. While having no gender eligibility rules, sport loses its meaning and near-universal support. Athletes should not be under pressure to undergo medical procedures or treatment to meet eligibility criteria. However, if an athlete is fully informed and consents, then it is their free choice to undergo carefully considered or necessary interventions for gender classification for sport to compete fairly and safely in their chosen gender. Free choice is a fundamental human right, but so is the right to fair and safe competition.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere001273
JournalBMJ Open Sport and Exercise Medicine
Volume8
Issue number1
Early online date18 Jan 2022
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 18 Jan 2022

Keywords

  • gender
  • olympics
  • sports & exercise medicine

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation

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