A power lifter who transitioned from a male to a female has been stripped of their world titles after the sport’s governing body in the US said the competitor was a man.
Mary Gregory, from Virginia, set world records in the women’s squat, bench press, and deadlift, and had earned a ‘Masters total world record’ for her powerlifting scores across the board last month.
But now, RAW Powerlifting Federation – the same body she thanked after winning – stripped Gregory of her titles, saying that the lifter ‘was actually a male’ when competing.
On Friday Federation president Paul Bossi said in a statement to media: ‘It was revealed that this female lifter was actually a male in the process of becoming a Transgender female.
‘Our rules, and the basis of separating genders for competition, are based on physiological classification rather than identification.’
‘On the basis of all information presented to the Board of Directors for this particular case,’ Bossi continued, ‘the conclusion made, is that the correct physiological classification is male.’
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Ex-British Olympic swimmer, Sharron Davies – who has been vocal on the issue – tweeted her satisfaction at the decision.
She said: ‘This is a trans woman a male body with male physiology setting a world record & winning a woman’s event in America in powerlifting.
‘A woman with female biology cannot compete.. it’s a pointless unfair playing field.’
Bossi added that because Gregory could not be officially classified as ‘female,’ she didn’t technically break any world records.
Following her success at the event last month, Gregory took to Instagram to thank the federation for making her feel welcome as a transgender athlete and treating her as ‘just another female lifter.’
Gregory told Outsports that the federation discovered she was assigned male at birth by insisting that an official sit in while she took a urine test.
She said: ‘I did my business while somebody watched me sitting on the toilet. And so that’s where that statement comes from, because I’m sure she told them, ‘Hey! This girl’s got a penis!’
The decision by the federation comes even as Gregory used hormone blockers to regulate her testosterone levels for 11 months before her world title shot.
The International Olympic Committee ruled in 2016 that this created a level playing field but because she isn’t biologically the same as the other competitors, RAW ruled that Gregory was not eligible to compete.
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USA Powerlifting passed a policy banning transitioning athletes from competing against athletes that match their ‘gender identity’ by a vote of 46-5 last week.
The board explained the decision, saying: ‘Men naturally have a larger bone structure, higher bone density, stronger connective tissue and higher muscle density than women.
‘These traits, even with reduced levels of testosterone do not go away. While MTF (male to female) may be weaker and less muscle than they once were, the biological benefits given them at birth still remain over than of a female.’
Story cited here.