Women’s sports leaders call on New York collegiate league to protect fairness as male sets league records

(The Daily Signal) – The Independent Council on Women’s Sports sent a letter to the Liberty League, an intercollegiate athletic conference in New York, demanding that the league adopt new…

(The Daily Signal) – The Independent Council on Women’s Sports sent a letter to the Liberty League, an intercollegiate athletic conference in New York, demanding that the league adopt new rules to protect fairness for female athletes as a male set school records in women’s track.

ICONS—a network and advocacy group that spans all levels of sport and includes Olympians, professional athletes, collegiate and high school athletes, parents, coaches, and administrators—sent the letter Wednesday ahead of the Liberty League Championships at St. Lawrence University on Feb. 23 and 24. ICONS gave a copy of the letter to The Daily Signal exclusively after sending it Wednesday.

The letter notes that a biological male at the Rochester Institute of Technology who identifies as female and goes by the name “Sadie Rose” has competed in women’s track events, setting school records in the 200-meter, 300-meter, and 400-meter races. Last month, the Liberty League bestowed the honor of its Women’s Track and Field Performer of the Week on Rose.

“Currently ranked first in the women’s 200-meter and second in the 400-meter for the Liberty League Conference, this male athlete is almost certain to take multiple awards, podium spots, and advancement opportunities from female athletes this weekend,” the ICONS letter warns. “It is your responsibility to stop disregarding the rights of your female athletes and speak up to insist on fair competition.”

“Overwhelming scientific evidence demonstrates male-female performance differences exist from the earliest stages,” the letter adds.

“Study after peer-reviewed study has shown clear performance advantages for males in sport pre-puberty,” ICONS adds, linking to medical journal articles. “Further studies clearly show that male advantage continues to exist even after attempts to suppress testosterone.”

The only way sport can be fair and equal for women is with a protected female category that excludes competitors with male advantage,” the letter concludes (emphasis original).

The Liberty League is a New York intercollegiate athletic conference affiliated with the National Collegiate Athletic Association’s Division III.

The Independent Council on Women’s Sports notes that “international sport governing bodies have conducted recent scientific reviews and have revised their policies to protect the female category.” The letter cites the international federations of cycling, track and field, swimming, and rugby in choosing to abandon “flawed policies that rely on testosterone levels.”

The letter cites the world’s governing body for track and field athletics, World Athletics, Rule C3.5, “Eligibility Regulations for Transgender Athletes,” and ICONS emphasizes the beginning of the second paragraph below:

1.1.1. World Athletics wants to give equal opportunities to all athletes to participate in and excel at the sport, and to provide them with fair and meaningful competition conditions, so that they are motivated to make the huge commitment and sacrifice required to excel in the sport, and so inspire new generations to join the sport and aspire to the same excellence

1.1.2 The substantial sex difference in sports performance that emerges from puberty onwards means that the only way to achieve the objectives set out above is to maintain separate classifications (competition categories) for male and female athletes. That difference is due to the physical advantages conferred on male athletes by the testes producing much higher levels of circulating testosterone than ovaries produce from puberty onwards in female athletes.

“To be clear, the R.I.T. [Rochester Institute of Technology] runner would not be eligible for the female category under the World Athletics policy,” the letter notes. It also notes that lawmakers in 24 states and in the U.S. House of Representatives have passed laws “to ensure males are not allowed to compete on school teams designated for women and girls.”

“We are reaching out today to ask you, as coaches and athletic directors, to stand up for fairness in sport,” the letter adds. “The public has heard the stories of the high school girls in Connecticut track, the college swim team in Virginia, and the professional women who are self-excluding from the sports they love.”

ICONS concludes the letter by offering support and inviting the Liberty League to “reach out with questions.”