USA Boxing is under fire for its new transgender policy that allows biological men to compete against women.
The updated policy was released last week along with the 2024 rule book. In accordance with the policy, male boxers who transition to women can compete in the female category if they meet specified criteria, including: “The athlete for a minimum of four years after surgery has had quarterly hormone testing and presents USA Boxing documentation of hormone levels.”
In addition, biological males competing in the women’s category must show their testosterone level has been below 5 nmol/L for at least four years prior to competing.
Biological women who wish to compete in the men’s division must show testosterone levels above 10 nmol/L for 4 years prior to competing.
Those under the age of 18 are still required to compete as their birth gender, with no exceptions.
But many female athletes argue the new policy does not provide the fairness and safety the organization claims.
“Allowing men to punch women in the name of ‘compassion & inclusivity’ is incomprehensibly despicable,” former collegiate swimmer and women’s rights advocate Riley Gaines posted on X.
Ebanie Bridges, an Australian professional boxer called the policy “wrong on so many levels.”
“I will never agree to this… it’s bad enough having trans women breaking records in other sports like track and field, swimming and power lifting but it’s a bit different to them breaking our skulls in combat sports where the aim is to HURT YOU not just break a record,” Bridges posted on X.
April Hutchinson, a professional powerlifter, said no surgery will make biological men competing against women fair.
“This is absolutely INSANE!! Women are NOT ‘just’ a hormone level,” Hutchinson posted on X. “No surgery or hormone therapy will negate muscle mass and fast twitch fibers that MEN have. Do you really want to see Women injured or killed in the ring? Shame on @USABoxing.”
In October, the North American Grappling Association (NAGA) changed its policy to create a biological female-only division after female competitors refused to compete in a contact sport against biological males.
“We will have divisions for only biological females,” the new policy states. “Transgender females will not be entered into these divisions. Transgender females must compete in the men’s division.”