Martina Navratilova expressed support for World Athletics as the international governing body for track and field events prohibited transgender women from competing against biological females.
Navratilova, who won 18 Grand Slam tournaments including nine Wimbledon championships, wrote an op-ed in The Times of UK on Sunday calling World Athletics’ decision a "step in the right direction."
She called for a separate category for transgender athletes.
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"In the wake of World Athletics’ announcement, I think the best idea would be to have ‘biological female’ and ‘biological girls’ categories and then an ‘open’ category," she wrote. "It would be a category for all-comers: men who identify as men; women who identify as women; women who identify as men; men who identify as women; non-binary — it would be a catch-all. This is already being explored in athletics and swimming in Britain.
"Biological females are most likely to compete in the biological female category, as that’s their best shot at winning and it maintains the principle of fairness. With an ‘open’ category there are no question marks, no provisos, no asterisks, no doubts. It’s a simple solution.
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"Once somebody has gone through male puberty, there is no way to erase that physical advantage. You cannot simply turn back the clock, for instance by trying to lower testosterone levels."
Navratilova said she hoped the decision would lead to other sports following its lead.
World Athletics’ decision on transgender female athletes came Thursday. The organization said it "decided to prioritize fairness and the integrity of the female competition before inclusion."
"Decisions are always difficult when they involve conflicting needs and rights between different groups, but we continue to take the view that we must maintain fairness for female athletes above all other considerations," World Athletics president Sebastian Coe added.
"We will be guided in this by the science around physical performance and male advantage which will inevitably develop over the coming years. As more evidence becomes available, we will review our position, but we believe the integrity of the female category in athletics is paramount."