Transgender participation in sport

I disagree and think you have oversimplified it.

First this is a disservice to women athletes. Women outperforming men is more than just outliers. Second you are making the assertion that a trans woman (we are mostly talking mtf trans here) retains most or all the ‘advantage’ of male vs female performance. I say prove it, not just ‘men are generally better’ or ‘it’s obvious.’

This is historical as mainstream transgenderism is a relatively new issue to address. We as society need to do our due diligence to ensure level playing fields. Science not dogma.

Again, let science prove one way or the other that a trans person is or is not biologically level to a cisgender person. If it it unequivocally proven empirically that a trans person retains an advantage over a cisgender athlete then steps need to be taken to ensure level playing fields.

I agree, I am just saying we don’t know where that line is yet.


No one is saying this…

100%…it is an extremely complex issue and saying these athletes have a T-advantage is simply ignoring the rules that are in place.

The issue is you can’t have both.

For one thing, “disservice” is a subjective and emotional word. I am not subjecting anyone to disservice. I am speaking straight fact. Look at any cycling (although i think a woman held or holds the RAAM record), running, lifting, whatever. Put a male team against a female team in any sport. At the top levels, men will win every time. If this did not ring true, this entire discussion would not exist because there would be no differences.

I already said, that if women are equal to men, then just have one category for competition. Then it would not matter who is transgender and who isnt. Except it still would, because some people would be allowed to take hormone therapy while others arent.

These women that are competing at the top ARE outliers, as are the men competing at the top. Nino Schurter is an outlier. So is Kate Courtney. And Nino will blow the doors off of Kate Courtney every single time.

Lets have women compete against men in boxing or MMA. Do you really think this is fair? If you do, I doubt your knowledge of the sport or of the reality of strength differences.

So i believe it is well established that biological males are on average more physically capable for the sports we are talking about.

How does this translate to someone who is transitioning? I dont know. What I do know if we start trying to quantify every difference between men and women, and then allow people to make up the differences to an approved level, we have opened the door to all sorts of doping across the board.

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Plenty of people say it.

In fact, the person you agree with said it, in as many words.

You seem to have a personal issue with me…dunno why, but feel free to put me on Ignore.

Trust me, I won’t be offended.

No, I get excited when you chose to reply to me specifically. I wouldn’t miss it!

I don’t really know any of the in’s and out’s and think it’s a hideously complex issue.

One question though, my assumption (without research to back it up) is that males typically have higher bone and muscle density, due to many factors I’m sure, does this provide a lasting performance affect beyond transition?

I suspect it does. I don’t really know what the answer is in terms of competitive fairness and balancing that with ethical equality.


I had more written, but to keep it short and sweet: yes. Check out MorePlatesMoreDates on youtube for some videos about the transathlete debate and structural changes that occur during puberty that are not completely undone by suppressing T levels as an adult (bone length, bone density, lung capacity, blood volume, lean muscle mass, muscle myonuclei development, etc.)

I support open competition from people of all walks (or non-walks) of life. I just think allowing MF trans athletes to compete against cis-F athletes is sacrificing all the gains female athletes have made over the last 40+ years and would prefer a way of including trans athletes that is not to the detriment of cis-F athletes.

Notably there is not similar debate about FM trans athletes competing against cis-men. My belief is that is because many inherently understand the structural changes that arise during puberty and that FM trans athletes, even on HRT/TRT, are not going to magically grow taller, grow bigger lungs, etc. and are at a structural disadvantage against the average cis-M.


I’ve been trying to keep out of this thread because, as a trans woman, I’d rather just get on with my cycling. But there’s a lot of folk offering their opinion in this thread (not trying to single you out especially varmstrong) who clearly don’t know what the effects of transitioning medically do to you as an athlete. So let me share my experience, which is broadly similar to every other trans woman athlete I’ve chatted with.

Before transition I was an above average male cyclist. I could keep up with everyone on the fastest chain gang rides, was usually in the top 5-10% on Strava segments and was looking to begin racing. I started hormone therapy in September 2021 and trained as much as I could over Winter, despite feeling pretty fatigued in general due to my dominant hormone changing from T to E. I was still fine up until my T levels dropped in to the female range, after which getting anywhere close to my previous performance levels became impossible. My FTP dropped by ~30% and my max 5s sprint dropped by ~45%. I’ve lost around 5kg of muscle so far and will continue to lose even more, despite lifting weights twice a week. On top of all that, I can no longer recover enough to do hard rides two days in a row so have ended up training less.

I realise this is just one persons anecdata, but my experience is far from unique. It also might be different for elite level athletes, but for me, an above average cyclist, it’s been brutal. I’m not sure what the solution is for letting trans women compete. All I know is that if I were to race tomorrow I’d get absolutely trashed in a mens race and would maybe finish mid-pack in a womens race. Despite how much my ability has changed, I can’t enter anything other than mens races for the next 18 months due to British Cyclings new rules. Honestly, it’s a pretty demoralising situation and makes me question whether I even would race if I was allowed since it’s just going to be a lot of hassle.

Thanks for coming to my TED talk.


Thanks for offering your experience and speaking up on this thread.

Best of luck to you.


Thank you for sharing your experiences.

I think we need to be careful with the common theme these days of saying that the opinion of someone observing from the outside is somehow not important when it comes to policy. I may not be a girl, but I will still make decisions for my female daughters until they are old enough to make their own. To be clear, this isn’t calling anyone a child, it simply means my concerns are not invalid because I am not trans.

I am focusing on the logical, facts driven, scientific side of this. Again, you do not have to be trans to focus on this aspect.

I personally don’t know what it is like to be in your situation. To hear you tell it, it isn’t fun, at least from the cycling perspective.

But if your overall quality of life is better, and you are happy, then I am happy for you. Truly.

You say that your specific numbers are broadly similar, I do not know if this is true or not. What I do see are the multiple situations where mid pack males now dominate as females after transitioning. I do not know at which point in their transition they are, none of that.

With your situation specifically, I do not know how old you are, but it is a fact that your T levels are only part of the story. Your growth as a man, your height, body composition, bone density, etc, all play a part in what makes you, you.

as a side note: Believe it or not (and I did not feel this way at all about your post!), most people aren’t asking these questions out of ill will. I think people just want things to be fair. What fair looks like is subjective, but to think that people questioning trans gender women competing against biological women probably has nothing to do with hate but wanting to preserve fairness.

This is another point. It illustrates something that nobody cares about this. There are reasons.


There was a real SIS podcast about this issue, led by a doctoral sports scientist - The Lia Thomas Controversy: Anger in the Age of Trans Gender Sport - The Real Science of Sport Podcast | Acast

Thank you for sharing @Pamplemoose. Congratulations on your transition and I hope everything goes well for you. As a cis woman it’s very interesting to hear you describe the massive effects of the T to E shift. Are you getting enough protein in your diet? Women generally don’t get enough and I’ve found that it really helps with recovery.

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Thank you for adding your valuable insight to this discussion and, if you responded to the survey I posted, thank you for that too. If you did not, thank you, regardless, and much respect for your boldness to speak publicly on an extremely sensitive topic.


Thanks for jumping in. Everyone tends to do much better with just about every issue when we are acquainted with or know someone that’s directly impacted.

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It would be great to see the same passion for fairness in women’s cycling sports when it comes to equal pay and media coverage for pros and equal payout and opportunity to race for amateurs.

There are already rules in place for competition and the highest level and the majority of racing cyclists compete on the local level where I believe there is a lot of benefit to having a big tent. Trans women women racing in the 4/5 or 1/2/3 fields with their friends and teammates of similar ability makes a lot more sense to me than a single p/1/2/3/4/5 field due to low participation and is more likely to build up a community of people who are excited about racing bikes.


The calls for a separate category is a canard…people saying that know the numbers don’t exist for such a category, but think by suggesting it they somehow look “inclusive”…but the goal is exclude people due to lack of numbers.


And here we go again. This is the exact type of unhelpful comments that I was talking about.

It is very unfair to accuse someone of wanting to exclude people. Some people just want to find the best compromise that works for everyone. The earnestly want to do the right thing for everyone.

Attacking the character of someone because they have a different solution than you do is low, unproductive, and polarizes people even more. Its why we have these extreme views out there because this type of attack pushes people into corners.


Says a lot about people when they choose to attack the source rather than the point.

Worry about your controls, if you want to ignore me I don’t mind. I’ll control my own forum experiences, thanks.

In any case, people have valid points and when we go on the attack we get away from discussion and towards fights and arguments. Assuming the worst about someone (they WANT TO EXCLUDE!!) means turning blind eyes to what may otherwise be decent points.

Non-constructive dialogue is a violation of our Community Guidelines, as is back-and-forth dialogue that is intended to cause dissent.

From ‘Welcome To The TrainerRoad Forum’

  1. Be excellent to each other
  2. Challenge the idea, don’t attack the person
  3. Contribute Constructively

These guidelines are a requirement of use of the forum.
DM me if you have questions about what that looks like.

Thanks to all keeping discussions constructive moving forward.

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