Transgender athletes will now be able to compete in the Olympics with few restrictions, according to new guidelines adopted by the sporting event's governing body.
The International Olympic Committee's medical officials announced Sunday that trans men will be able to compete "without restriction" and trans women will only need to undergo one year of hormone replacement therapy, according to a new policy initially reported in Outsports. Previous guidelines, in place since 2003, mandated athletes undergo gender reassignment surgery as well as two years of hormone therapy.
“It is necessary to ensure insofar as possible that trans athletes are not excluded from the opportunity to participate in sporting competition,” a document from a November IOC meeting made public on Sunday reads.
There has yet to be an openly transgender athlete to compete in the Olympics, however Outsports notes American triathlete Chris Mosier could be one of the first to qualify. He is set to compete in the Duathlon World Championships later this year.
The Associated Press notes the new guidelines aren't rules that other sports bodies must follow, but rather a set of recommendations to match changing attitudes and updated scientific consensus regarding transgender people.
“We had to review and look into this from a new angle. We needed to adapt to the modern legislation around the world. We felt we cannot impose a surgery if that is no longer a legal requirement," Arne Ljungqvist, the former IOC medical commission chairman, told the AP.
The guidelines should apply as soon as this year's Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.
You can read them in their entirety here.