When we developed and published our Transgender and Non-binary Participation Policy, we did so with the intention of advancing the cause of promoting diversity and inclusion within the sport of cycling.
Understanding that this is a fast-moving area of sports policy and scientific research, we committed to reviewing our policy annually or more frequently, as required, to reflect emerging circumstances.
Due to the difference in the policies held by British Cycling and the UCI relating to the licensing process, it is currently possible for trans-female athletes to gain eligibility to race domestically while their cases remain pending with the UCI (or indeed in situations where they are deemed ineligible).
This in turn allows those riders to accrue domestic ranking points which impact selection decisions for National Championship races, which is not only unprecedented in our sport, but is also unfair on all women riders and poses a challenge to the integrity of racing.
We also understand that there are concerns regarding the extent to which our current policy appropriately reflects the Sports Councils’ Equality Group guidance, published in September 2021.
As a result of this, on Wednesday 6 April the British Cycling Board of Directors voted in favour of an immediate suspension of the current policy, pending a full review, which will be initiated in the coming weeks.
While the current policy was created following an extensive external and internal consultation, the review will allow us time for further discussion with all stakeholders, including women and the transgender and non-binary communities, as we strive to provide all within our sport with the clarity and understanding they deserve.
As an organisation we remain committed to ensuring that transgender and non-binary people are welcomed, supported and celebrated in the cycling community, and the inclusion of these groups within non-competitive activities remains unaffected by the suspension.
We will also continue to work tirelessly to ensure that our sport remains free of hate, discrimination and abuse in all forms, and that we prioritise the welfare of riders, volunteers, event organisers, commissaires and others that our sport can’t continue without.
In the past week we have started in earnest our work to galvanise a coalition of organisations to come together to find a better answer, and have enjoyed productive discussions with national governing bodies and others across sport.
The challenge is far greater than one event or one sport, and only by working together can we hope to find a timely solution, which achieves fairness in a way that maintains the dignity and respect of all athletes.