June 16 (Reuters) - The International Cycling Union (UCI) has tightened its rules on transgender participation by increasing the transition period on low testosterone to two years and reducing the maximum permitted testosterone level.
The previous transition period was 12 months and the testosterone level allowed was 5 nmol/L, which has now been halved.
"Given the important role played by muscle strength and power in cycling performance, the UCI has decided to increase the transition period on low testosterone from 12 to 24 months," the governing body said in a statement on Thursday.
"In addition, the UCI has decided to lower the maximum permitted plasma testosterone level... this value corresponds to the maximum testosterone level found in 99.99% of the female population."
The change will come into force from July 1.
The old policy came into focus after British transgender cyclist Emily Bridges was prevented from competing in the women's race at the National Omnium Championships in March.
British Cycling suspended its Transgender and Non-binary Participation Policy following the incident, denying transgender women the chance to compete in domestic women's races until the policy was reviewed.
(Reporting by Dhruv Munjal in Bengaluru, editing by Ed Osmond)