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14 Feb, 2020 14:13

‘Forcing girls to compete against boys isn't fair’: US female high school runners file suit to ban transgender athletes

‘Forcing girls to compete against boys isn't fair’: US female high school runners file suit to ban transgender athletes

Three female high school runners in Connecticut have filed a federal lawsuit aiming to prevent transgender athletes from participating in women’s sport.

Selina Soule, Chelsea Mitchell and Alanna Smith have claimed that transgender runners who are allowed to compete against them at student competitions have an unfair advantage against female-born counterparts depriving them of scholarships.

READ MORE: ‘Destroying women's sports’: Fury after transgender cyclist Rachel McKinnon defends world title

Mentally and physically, we know the outcome before the race even starts,” said Smith. “That biological unfairness doesn’t go away because of what someone believes about gender identity. All girls deserve the chance to compete on a level playing field.”

The suit which was filed against the Connecticut Association of Schools-Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference is centred on Andraya Yearwood and Terry Miller – two transgender high school seniors who together have won 15 state titles in different running events.

Girls deserve to compete on a level playing field. Forcing them to compete against boys isn't fair, shatters their dreams, and destroys their athletic opportunities,” said attorney Christiana Holcomb, representing the girls.

Yearwood and Miller responded to the legal action by issuing a statement saying that they will defend their rights to perform in women’s competitions.

Also on rt.com ‘Create a new category’: Fury after transgender runner claims US women’s college title

There is a long history of excluding black girls from sport and policing our bodies,” Miller said in a statement. “I am a runner and I will keep running and keep fighting for my existence, my community and my rights.”

Participation by transgender athletes in women’s sport has increased in recent years, prompting their competitors to complain about the fairness of such tournaments.

Last year, Canadian transgender athlete Rachel McKinnon caused outrage in the cycling community after winning the women’s sprint title at the Masters Track Cycling World Championships. Many pundits, and rivals, labeled the win ‘unfair’ and ‘discriminatory’, calling on sports officials to ban transgender athletes from taking part in women’s events.

Also on rt.com ‘Robbing women of opportunities’: Fury after transgender NZ weightlifter wins double gold

New Zealand transgender weightlifter Laurel Hubbard, who won two gold medals at the 2019 Pacific, was accused of ‘robbing’ fellow competitors of victory, with many suggesting the athlete had an unfair advantage over her counterparts.

Under the current Olympic rules, transgender athletes are allowed to compete in the Olympic Games if they meet set criteria regarding testosterone levels.