Three women poised to run for Great Britain at next year’s Olympics have joined the growing revolt against plans that could force them to race transgender women in future.
Beth Dobbin, Emily Diamond and Ellie Baker are the most high-profile current British female athletes yet to have spoken out against a proposal first revealed by Telegraph Sport.
They have done so following the launch of a consultation by World Athletics over changes to its rules that would currently stop short of banning those born male from competing against women.
Its “preferred option” of halving the maximum testosterone level permitted for those taking part in female events and doubling the period of time they must remain below that beforehand has reignited sport’s toxic trans row.
Dobbin, Diamond and Baker have now become the first British female athletes deemed worthy of National Lottery funding in the build-up to Paris 2024 to publicly oppose such a change.
Dobbin, the Tokyo 2020 200 metres semi-finalist who won 4x400m bronze at last year’s Commonwealth Games, posted on Twitter: “Women deserve to compete exclusively against competitors who don’t have any of the advantages that the female category exists to exclude. Testosterone is what creates these advantages and lowering it doesn’t level the playing field.”
Among the replies to Dobbin’s post was one from Diamond, who has won 4x400m medals at Olympic, world and European level.
She wrote: “That first sentence says it all.”
Baker, an 800m semi-finalist at July’s World Athletics Championships, posted: “I love track&field. I train hard everyday to reach my goals in this sport but if this is going to be allowed this will take away biological women’s livelihoods. We don’t stand a chance. We may as well give up now. I’m not anti trans. It’s just a matter of what’s fair & what isn’t.”
Diamond had previously pledged support for Amelia Strickler after the British shot-put champion told the Telegraph World Athletics’ “preferred option” could lead to a “free-for-all” which would “screw” those born female.
Two British discus throwers also reacted to the news on Twitter, with Jade Lally expressing solidarity with Strickler and Kirsty Law, posting: “How is this even close to being fair! #ProtectWomensSport.”
Diamond and 800m runner Ellie Baker had previously spoken out last year over plans to allow Emily Bridges, the transgender cyclist, to compete in women’s races.
Baker wrote in March: “How this has been allowed to happen is just ridiculous. I would refuse to race and hope that the other women would stand with me on this too.”
A trans woman who broke three men’s athletics records before undergoing gender reassignment surgery, Tina Daniels, joined the revolt this week when she wrote a piece for the Telegraph stating those like her should not be allowed to compete in female events.
She said she had given up a chance to qualify for London 2012 – and potentially win gold there – because she could not bring herself to unfairly deprive someone of a deserved spot at the Games.
World Athletics has responded to the growing outcry by stressing its “preferred option” is not certain to survive what is a wide-ranging consultation before it makes a final decision on its trans rules in March.