ICONS seeks justice as transgender proposal lowers fairness in US rowing

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press release

ICONS seeks justice as a transgender proposal

Fairness is falling in US rowing

LAS VEGAS – The Independent Council for Women’s Sports (ICONS) seeks justice for women athletes while USRowing policy continues to quash hard-won gains for fairness in women’s sports by allowing biological males to compete in all women’s and girls’ categories.

ICONS is deeply concerned about the proposed USRowing Transgender and Gender Diverse Athlete Participation Policy. The policy, like the current one introduced in 2016, perpetuates unfair competition for female rowers and diminishes their value and opportunities, said Marshi Smith, an NCAA swimming champion and co-founder of ICONS.

“We are calling on the US Rowing Board to revise its policy to ensure equal opportunities for males and females to compete,” Smith said. “Unfortunately, many fail to recognize that they are openly discriminating against their female athletes without making the women and girls category exclusive to women, as USRowing has failed to do.”

This is the week of the world’s largest three-day rowing competition, the Head of the Charles Regatta, which begins October 21 in Boston with some 11,000 competitors in 61 events, where biological males can compete in any division in which they identify themselves. Smith said this violates the year 2022 “rowing rulesUSRowing policies dealing with fairness, which specifically state: “All rowers participating in a regatta must at all times … compete fairly.”

The proposed USRowing policy reflects the recently adopted one transgender policy of British rowing, which was met with a violent public outcry. UK rowing leader Mark Davies, who opposed her own new transgender policy, said she had brought UK rowing “in line with world rowing” by allowing natural males, who identify themselves as women, to row in the to compete in the women’s category. To support his appeal, Davies quoted a recent scientific study This shows once again that testosterone suppression does this Not Eliminate the male advantage in muscle mass, grip strength, or VO2max, even after 14 years of hormonal suppression.

“In sport, fairness must come first,” said Dr. Mary O’Connor, Director of ICONS Rowing and former US Olympic rower. “We want everyone to be able to take part in the competition. Eligibility must be based on biology, namely gender. We have age and weight categories which are also based on biology to ensure a level playing field. We must not create categories based on identities such as race, ethnicity, religion or gender identification.’ As an advocate of fair competition, Dr. O’Connor 1976 member of Yale University’s women’s rowing team, which protested athletic inequality and spearheaded the Title IX movement to combat gender discrimination in collegiate athletics.

As USRowing’s Board of Directors continues to review its transgender policy, ICONS urges USRowing to extend Davies’ Plea for World Rowingand reverse the injustice to US female athletes by protecting the women’s category for biological female athletes.

ICONS is supported by world-class athletes, parents, internationally renowned scientists, doctors and health professionals, as well as advocates, advocacy groups and women’s organizations. You can learn more about ICONS and get involved at www.iconswomen.com.

For media inquiries please contact:

[email protected]

Marshi Smith
Independent Council on Women's Sports
[email protected]

Source: Independent Council for Women’s Sport

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