In October 2020 we launched our first Transgender and Non-Binary Participation Policy, which established the requirements for enabling participation and creating a welcoming and inclusive environment in cycling at all levels.
At British Cycling we understand that this is an evolving area of scientific research and sports governance, and as such we committed to assessing our policy annually. Our first consultation into the policy opened in March 2021, and following analysis of the responses and discussions with key stakeholders, we are now able to share the changes which have been made.
The following Q&A sets out what these changes mean for our communities, activities and events, and the process by which we have arrived at them.
What was the process for reviewing the policy?
In total we received 600 responses to our public consultation, which were analysed in the summer of 2021, and following this process a working group was established consisting of members of our Integrity Committee, Diversity and Inclusion Advisory Group and Clinical Governance Committee.
In addition to the responses received through our consultation, the group also reviewed the most recent publications and updates on the subject from the Union Cycliste Internationale (February 2020), Sports Councils’ Equality Group (September 2021) and International Olympic Committee (November 2021), alongside consulting with external legal experts.
In the updated policy, Section 3 sets out clearly how it will continue to be developed and updated in the future, with a framework of accountability now also included in Section 10.
While it is clear that further research in this area is still required, the process identified a number of areas for immediate development.
What are the key changes for British Cycling members?
The new policy removes any requirement for trans or non-binary members to complete a declaration stating how they would like to be identified if applying for (or if they have an existing) Ride, Commute or Fan membership.
These membership packages do not include a Race Licence, and therefore the declaration is not necessary as the policy is clear that British Cycling encourages transgender and non-binary participants can take part in recreational/non-competitive activities in the gender they identify as.
Trans or non-binary members wishing to obtain Race memberships (either Gold, Silver or Bronze) will still be required to submit a signed declaration that their gender identity is different to their sex recorded at birth, however, the rule that this declaration cannot be changed for four years has been removed.
Are there any changes relating to British Cycling recreation programmes, such as Breeze?
No – there are no significant changes to this area of the policy. We continue to work hard to ensure that our programmes are fully accessible and provide a welcoming and supportive environment for transgender and non-binary participants.
What about competitive events?
Our first Transgender and Non-Binary Participation Policy was designed to be as inclusive as possible, imposing only necessary and proportionate restrictions on eligibility to ensure fair and meaningful competition, based on the most relevant available guidance.
In our updated policy we continue to follow the UCI regulations introduced in March 2020, which are based on objective scientific research and driven by a desire to guarantee fairness and safety within the sport (UCI Cycling Regulations Chapter V Eligibility for Transgender Athletes 13.5.002). For this reason, testosterone levels remain the primary method of determining which members are eligible to compete in the male and female categories.
While there has been much commentary on the effectiveness of testosterone-based measures, at the current time we do not have sufficient research or understanding to update this area of our policy in a way which is relevant and appropriate for our sport. However, we remain committed to moving with international bodies and scientific opinion, and supporting research efforts in any way we can.
Is there any impact on junior competition or participation?
All references to under-18s have been removed from the policy. It is acknowledged that the original policy did not make clear or proper provision for junior participation, and this is an area which will require further research and development in the future.
What other key questions were raised in the consultation?
Through the consultation we also received a number of questions on how our policy is impacted by or links with existing stakeholders or policies. As a result of this, we have made two important clarifications.
Firstly, British Cycling is not subject to the PSED (Public Sector Equality Duty), and therefore any reference to this in the policy has been removed.
With regard to anti-doping, WADA and UKAD have been referenced in the updated policy, making it clear that nothing in the policy is intended to undermine, or affect in any way, any of the requirements of the World Anti-Doping Code 2021 and UK Anti-Doping Rules.
Where can I read the full policy?
If you have feedback on the policy and its development please email email@example.com, where it will then be considered by a member of our team.
Where can I report instances of discriminatory language or behaviour?
We are fully committed to ensuring that cycling is a welcoming and inclusive place for all, and take a zero-tolerance approach to all cases of discriminatory language or behaviour. If you are subject to or aware of instances of such behaviour, we would urge you to report them to us directly at firstname.lastname@example.org where they will be handled in confidence by our dedicated Compliance team.