The World Boxing Council announced last week that it is adding a transgender category to protect biological female competitors.
"We are going to put out a global call for those (trans-identified athletes) who are interested in 2023, and we will set up the protocols, start consultation and most likely create a league and a tournament," WBC President Mauricio Sulaiman told The Telegraph in an interview. "We are doing this because of safety and inclusion."
The WBC, an international boxing organization, initially banned transgender athletes from competing against females last August as part of its "Statement/Guidelines Regarding Transgender Athletes participation in professional Combat Sports."
"The WBC advocates for two equally skilled and matched athletes competing in the cage or ring, on a level playing field and to keep matches fair, competitive, entertaining, and most importantly safe for all combatants," the statement read at the time. "At present level of scientific knowledge, the WBC consensus is that allowing transgender athletes to compete raises serious health and safety concerns."
"There is no consensus whether a bout between a transgender woman against a cisgender (biological) woman is a fair bout between two equally matched competitors," the WBC added.
During his interview with The Telegraph, Sulaiman asserted that transgender athletes should not be able to fight other athletes who were born with a different gender.
"In boxing, a man fighting a woman must never be accepted regardless of gender change," he told the British newspaper. "Woman-to-man or man-to-woman transgender change will never be allowed to fight a different gender by birth."
As reported by The Christian Post, other professional sports organizations such as FINA and USA Powerlifting have implemented policies restricting transgender athletes from competing against those of a different biological sex.
Last month, the International Olympic Committee declared that "sports organizations may at times need to issue eligibility criteria for sex-segregated competition to maintain a fair and proportionate distribution of competitive advantages among participants."
The IOC said, "particular importance of advancing equality for women in sport and preserving fair and meaningful competition for elite women athletes, which may require criteria that limits eligibility in some cases."
In the U.S. alone, at least 18 states have passed laws banning trans-identified males from competing on sports teams with biological females, including Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Florida, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Montana, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, West Virginia and Wyoming.
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Milton Quintanilla is a freelance writer and content creator. He is a contributing writer for Christian Headlines and the host of the For Your Soul Podcast, a podcast devoted to sound doctrine and biblical truth. He holds a Masters of Divinity from Alliance Theological Seminary.