confirm that at least two years of gender-affirming hormone therapy with a target plasma testosterone concentration of 2.5 nmol/L is sufficient to completely eliminate the benefits of testosterone during puberty in men. In addition, there is considerable inter-individual variability in response to gender-confirming hormone therapy, which makes it even more difficult to draw precise conclusions about the effects of such treatment. Given the current state of scientific knowledge, it is also impossible to rule out the possibility that biomechanical factors such as the shape and arrangement of the bones in their limbs may constitute a lasting advantage for female transgender athletes.
Taking these findings into account, the UCI Management Committee considered the interests of transgender athletes in being able to take part in sporting competitions against those of athletes in the female category, which is considered a protected class. In this context, the UCI Management Committee concluded, considering the remaining scientific uncertainties, that it was necessary to take this measure to protect the female class and ensure equal opportunities.
For more information on the current state of scientific knowledge on the effects of gender-affirming treatment on performance markers in transgender female cyclists: Prof. Xavier Bigard, "The current knowledge on the effects of gender-affirming treatment on markers of performance in transgender female cyclists", updated May 2023.
The new rules will come into force on 17 July 2023. They may change in the future as scientific knowledge evolves. With this in mind, the UCI will begin discussions with other members of the international sporting movement on the co-financing of a research programme aimed at studying changes in the physical performance of highly-trained athletes undergoing transitional hormone treatment.
UCI President David Lappartient said: "First of all, the UCI would like to reaffirm that cycling - as a competitive sport, leisure activity or means of transport - is open to everyone, including transgender people, whom we encourage like everyone else to take part in our sport. I would also like to reaffirm that the UCI fully respects and supports the right of individuals to choose the sex that corresponds to their gender identity, whatever sex they were assigned at birth. However, it has a duty to guarantee, above all, equal opportunities for all competitors in cycling competitions. It is this imperative that led the UCI to conclude that, given the current state of scientific knowledge does not guarantee such equality of opportunity between transgender female athletes and cisgender female participants, it was not possible, as a precautionary measure, to authorise the former to race in the female categories."