Controversial Republican Lauren Boebert has hit out at USA Boxing’s trans participation policy, despite the fact it makes it incredibly difficult for transgender people to take part in the sport at all.
The national governing body for Olympic-style boxing‘s new policy sets out strict requirements trans men and women need to fulfil to be able to compete, including undergoing full gender-affirming surgery and long-term hormone testing post-surgery.
On New Year’s Eve, Boebert took to X/Twitter to express her dissatisfaction with the guidelines, describing them as pathetic and disgusting.
“Let’s call this what it is,” the Colorado congresswoman wrote. “They’re going to allow men to beat women up in a boxing ring.”
The new guidance has also been criticised by anti-trans former competitive swimmer Riley Gaines, who told Fox News the policy is “taking us back in time and it’s utterly misogynistic”.
Ebanie Bridges, an Australian professional boxer, chipped in too, saying she would never agree with the new guidelines.
“It’s bad enough having trans women breaking records in other sports like track and field, swimming and power-lifting,” she wrote on social media. “But it’s a bit different to them breaking our skulls in combat sports where the aim is to hurt you, not just break a record.”
She continued: “Cutting ur bits off and adding boobs won’t take back the masculine maturity your body has gone thru before you decided u are now a woman.”
The policy states that everyone under the age of 18 who wants to take part in the sport must compete as the sex they were assigned at birth, rather than the gender with which they identify.
Trans men and women over the age of 18 must declare their gender and have “completed gender-reassignment surgery”.
The boxer must undertake quarterly hormone tests and present USA Boxing documentation of hormone levels for a minimum of four years after surgery.
Trans women must demonstrate their total testosterone level in serum has been below five nanomoles/litre for at least 48 months before their first competition and must remain below that level throughout the period they wish to compete in the female category.
For transgender men, there is a requirement to demonstrate their total testosterone level has been consistent for 48 months before their first competition – at above 10nmol/L – and they must maintain this throughout the time they seek to compete in the male category.
Non-compliance of these requirements will result in the trans athlete being suspended for 12 months. Hormone levels will then need to be retested.
These rules will make it extremely difficult for a trans person to take part, owing to the high cost of gender-affirming surgery when it is not covered by insurance, and the lengthy waiting period post-surgery when hormone monitoring takes place.
USA Boxing’s new rules follow a flurry of other sporting bodies significantly restricting, or entirely banning, trans athletes from competitions.
World Aquatics, the international governing body for swimming, banned trans athletes from competing in women’s events in June 2022. This was followed by World Athletics barring trans women from competition in March 2023 and World Cycling following suit two months later.
In the US, transgender student sportsmen and women have also come under fire from anti-trans lawmakers, with a number of states passing legislation banning trans youngsters from playing in the teams that match their gender.