At British Cycling, 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.
Under the British Cycling Transgender and Non-Binary Participation policy, Emily Bridges was due to participate in the British National Omnium Championships on Saturday 2nd April. We have now been informed by the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) that under their current guidelines Emily is not eligible to participate in this event.
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. We acknowledge the decision of the UCI with regards to Emily’s participation, however we fully recognise her disappointment with today’s decision.
Transgender and non-binary inclusion is bigger than one race and one athlete – it is a challenge for all elite sports. We believe all participants within our sport deserve more clarity and understanding around participation in elite competitions and we will continue to work with the UCI on both Emily’s case and the wider situation with regards to this issue.
We also understand that in elite sports the concept of fairness is essential. For this reason, British Cycling is today calling for a coalition to share, learn and understand more about how we can achieve fairness in a way that maintains the dignity and respect of all athletes.
Within recent years, we’ve seen huge advancements in the science and testing around elite sports, the broader scientific and understanding of human biology, developments in protection provided by the law, and crucially a greater respect for the psychological and societal challenges of those who are transgender and non-binary. This is a complex area and by uniting, we can share resources and insights.
We know that some of these conversations are happening in pockets of the sporting world, but we want to encourage all sporting governing bodies, athletes, the transgender and non-binary athlete community, the Government and beyond to come together and find a better answer.
Across sports, far more needs to be done, collectively, before any long-term conclusions can be drawn.