IOC releases criteria framework focused on gender

The International Olympic Committee has released a new set of guidelines to help sport organizations ensure gender equality and inclusion for athletes taking part in competitive events.

The IOC released its Framework on Fairness, Inclusion and Non-Discrimination on the Basis of Gender Identity and Sex Variations on Tuesday.

The framework was produced after two years of consultations with more than 250 athletes, human rights experts and other stakeholders regarding eligibility criteria for transgender athletes and women with high levels of testosterone.

The document lays out 10 principles for eligibility criteria. They include non-discrimination, fairness and evidence-based approaches.

The IOC says criteria should be established "in a manner that does not systematically exclude athletes from competition based upon their gender identity, physical appearance and/or sex variations."

The guidelines come months after New Zealander Laurel Hubbard became the first openly transgender Olympic athlete when she competed in women's weightlifting at the Tokyo Games. Hubbard had undergone sex-change surgery.

In contrast, South African runner Caster Semenya, who won gold medals in the 800 meters at the London and Rio de Janeiro Olympics, was unable to compete in Tokyo due to her naturally high testosterone levels.

World Athletics prohibits such female athletes from taking part in international competitions over 400 meters to one mile unless they lower their testosterone levels to a certain degree by taking medication or other means.