Transgender runner CeCe Telfer ruled ineligible for U.S. Olympic trials

Transgender runner CeCe Telfer will not be allowed to compete in the women's 400-meter hurdles at U.S. Olympic trials because Telfer has not met the conditions World Athletics established in its eligibility regulations for certain women's events.


Telfer competed for the men's team at Division II Franklin Pierce, took time off, then came back to compete for the women's team. In 2019, Telfer won the NCAA title.


Telfer was entered in this week's trials, but World Athletics put out new guidelines in 2019 that closed off international women's events of between 400 meters and a mile to athletes whose testosterone levels were at 5 nonomoles per liter (nmol/L) or more.


The regulations are associated with two-time Olympic gold medalist Caster Semenya, who has been fighting them for years.


Telfer initially competed on the men's team at Division II Franklin Pierce. She took time off and came back to compete for the women's team, winning the 400-meter NCAA title in 2019.


“CeCe has turned her focus towards the future and is continuing to train. She will compete on the national — and world — stage again soon,”


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“Following notification from World Athletics on June 17 that the conditions had not yet been met, USATF provided CeCe with the eligibility requirements and, along with World Athletics, the opportunity to demonstrate her eligibility so that she could compete at the U.S. Olympic Team Trials. According to subsequent notification to CeCe from World Athletics on June 22, she has not been able to demonstrate her eligibility."


"strongly supports inclusivity and providing a clear path to participation in the sport for all, while also maintaining competitive fairness.


“If CeCe meets the conditions for transgender athlete participation in the future, we wholeheartedly back her participation in international events as a member of Team USATF."


Anyone competing in the Olympic trials must meet requirements for the U.S. Olympic team, which has to follow regulations set by World Athletics.


Telfer was one of many openly transgender athletes attempting to compete at the Olympics. New Zealand weightlifter Laurel Hubbard was chosen by the country's Olympic Committee earlier this week, making her the first openly transgender athlete to compete at an Olympics. It has been met by criticism from competitors.

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