Women’s sport being dicked

Drugs have been the primary option of cheating athletes to help them win Olympic Gold or World titles, desiring the fame and fortune that comes with sporting success.

History is littered with examples including the likes of Ben Johnson, Lance Armstrong and most of the Tour de France podium finishers over the last 25 years. The Chinese swim team, Russian athletes, Marion Jones, Maria Sharapova and the list goes on. All of them looking for that lift of a few percentage points to ensure top spot on the podium.

The desire to win is so great, athletes are prepared to risk health, reputation, family etc to achieve their sporting goals. This now raises the question – are athletes gender transitioning from male to female to gain that winning advantage.

In the news lately is Laurel Hubbard, formerly Gavin Hubbard, a New Zealand weight lifter selected to represent New Zealand at the Tokyo Olympics, as the first trans-gender athlete to compete at an Olympics before starting the the gender transition process from male to female.

Hubbard was a promising competitive weight lifter setting a few NZ junior records but virtually unknown on the international stage. Now, as a woman the 43 year-old Hubbard has achieved a World Masters title along with five International weight lifting titles plus a number of Oceania records and is now on her way to the Olympics.

Would Hubbard have achieved this success so far as Gavin Hubbard – I am very doubtful.

I am all for the way sports have embraced the ethical issues and the framework to counter racism, sexism and the inclusive attitude but this inclusion should not be above all else.

Now there are athletes and certain countries that base their self worth and esteem on Olympic Gold and International sporting success and they will look at this path as a way of achieving those goals and a small price to pay for it, not to mention the potential millions of dollars to be earned.

I am all for the way sports have embraced the ethical issues and the framework to counter racism, sexism and the inclusive attitude but this inclusion should not be above all else.

The advantages held by athletes who have been through male puberty then trans-gendered have gained male physiological advantages that include:

• Increased muscle mass • Higher VO2 max (lung capacity) • Increased capillarisation (blood flow) • Increased bone strength

Importantly, these advantages occur as a result of male puberty and do not disappear during or after gender transition. On Wikipedia it noted that Trans women are excelling in weight lifting, cycling, mixed martial arts, volleyball, soccer plus track and field. The sports seem to be based on strength and force.

I am not anti Trans-Gender but there needs to be fairness and opportunity for all. Whatever happens in future there will be tears from opposing view points, but inclusivity should not weaken the integrity of women’s sport.

Back in the day when I was competing if we were beaten by a woman, we had been ‘chicked’ , now I feel some women athletes will feel they have been dicked.

Would Tiger Woods or John Daly be prepared to remove two balls from their golf bags to again achieve golfing success.

Featured Image:
World First – Laurel Hubbard competes at the 2018 Commonwealth Games in Australia’s Gold Coast. 

Story by John Alexander | Images sourced by Absolutely Famous.

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