Female athletes will be 'thrown under the bus' at Olympic Games, says Sharron Davies

An Olympic silver medallist fears the impact of transgender athletes ahead of the Tokyo 2020 Games.

Former swimmer Sharron Davies was one of a number of ex-athletes to write to the International Olympic Committee in March to express their concern.

But concerns were raised again after New Zealand’s Laurel Hubbard won two gold medals in the Pacific Games earlier in July.

The 41-year-old’s triumphs in weightlifting stirred controversy after Samoa’s Commonwealth Games champion missed out as a result.

Davies told BBC Sport: "I find it extraordinary that [Hubbard winning medals] is where we have to go before the IOC open their eyes.

"I'm positive things will change but the problem is we will be throwing females under the bus before it does change."

Weightlifting - Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games - Women's +90kg - Final - Carrara Sports Arena 1 - Gold Coast, Australia - April 9, 2018. Laurel Hubbard of New Zealand competes. REUTERS/Paul Childs
Laurel Hubbard of New Zealand competes in 2018's Commonwealth Games. REUTERS/Paul Childs

Olympic regulations state athletes take testosterone suppressants for at least 12 months before a competition.

Famous names such as Davies and Dame Kelly Holmes led a number of athletes in calling for the IOC to further research the impact of transgender participation in female sport.

But Davies claims the Olympic governing body failed to reply to them - and believes it will require a high-profile failure from a prominent female athlete to draw their attention.

She added: "It just says that the IOC is not interested in what athletes have to say. I find this so disheartening when sport should be run for the athletes.”

The IOC confirmed to BBC Sport that it was ‘working to develop new guidance’ on transgender athletes competing, while remaining ‘committed to furthering inclusion, without discrimination based on gender identity and/or sex characteristics’.

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