Contradiction or cohesion? : tracing questions of protection and fairness in scientifically driven elite sport policies / Anna Posbergh

Posbergh, Anna

The Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games notably featured the first-ever openly transgender and nonbinary Olympic athletes: New Zealand weightlifter Laurel Hubbard, American skateboarder Alana Smith, and Canadian soccer player Quinn. While all three met the International Olympic Committee’s (IOC) eligibility requirements, their inclusion was met with both vociferous support and opposition. Nearly 3 months after the conclusion of the Tokyo Games, the IOC released its “framework on fairness, inclusion and non-discrimination on the basis of gender identity and sex variations” (“the Framework”), which replaced and updated its previous related guideline. Much of the resistance and, at times, outright condemnation of including transgender individuals in sports continue to draw upon “scientific” arguments. Likewise, written policies, particularly those denoting (female) eligibility, continue to circulate and privilege scientific knowledges despite the acknowledged importance of sociocultural and (geo)political factors.

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