July 14 (Reuters) - The governing body of cycling (UCI) banned transgender women who have undergone male puberty from competing in the female category of competitive events on Friday, while renaming the men's category Men/Open.
The new rules come into effect on July 17. Athletes who do not qualify for the female category will be able to enter Men/Open events without restriction.
"At an extraordinary meeting held on 5 July, the Management Committee of the UCI decided to adapt the current UCI rules on the right of female transgender athletes to take part in competitions on the UCI International Calendar," the UCI said.
"From now on, female transgender athletes who have transitioned after (male) puberty will be prohibited from participating in women's events on the UCI International Calendar – in all categories – in the various disciplines."
The UCI added that it would hold talks with other sporting bodies over a jointly-funded "research programme aimed at studying changes in the physical performance of highly-trained athletes undergoing transitional hormone treatment".
The body previously allowed transgender women with reduced testosterone to take part in female events.
"The UCI would like to reaffirm that cycling – as a competitive sport, leisure activity or means of transport – is open to everyone, including transgender people, whom we encourage like everyone else to take part in our sport...," UCI president David Lappartient said.
"However, it has a duty to guarantee, above all, equal opportunities for all competitors in cycling competitions.
"... given the current state of scientific knowledge does not guarantee such equality of opportunity between transgender female athletes and cisgender female participants, it was not possible, as a precautionary measure, to authorise the former to race in the female categories."
British Cycling banned transgender women from competing in the female category of competitive events in May.
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