Transgender cyclist Emily Bridges ruled ineligible for women’s race

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A British transgender cyclist has been banned from participating in this weekend’s British National Omnium Championship after the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI), cycling’s governing body, ruled she was ineligible.

The UCI said the reason for the ineligibility is because Emily Bridges is registered as a male cyclist. She cannot compete as a woman until that registration expires.

British Cycling, in a statement, said they acknowledged UCI’s decision, but recognize Bridges’ disappointment at not being able to race.

British Cycling rules mandate riders have testosterone levels below five nanomoles per liter for a year prior to compete as a woman.

“We believe that transgender and non-binary people should be able to find a home, feel welcome and included, and be celebrated in our sport,” a statement said. “We have been in close discussions with the UCI regarding Emily’s participation this weekend and have also engaged closely with Emily and her family regarding her transition and involvement in elite competitions.”

The 21-year-old Bridges started hormone therapy last year and because of levels of testosterone that have been lowered, is eligible to enter women’s events.

Even though Bridges came out as transgender in 2020, she has been racing in men’s events while transitioning. Bridges won the men’s points race at the British Universities championships in Glasgow just last month.

“Transgender and non-binary inclusion is bigger than one race and one athlete – it is a challenge for all elite sports,” British Cycling said.

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Emily Bridges, transgender cyclist, ruled ineligible for women’s race