Transgender powerlifter could be BANNED08/26/2023
EXCLUSIVE: Transgender powerlifter could be BANNED as Canada’s union for the sport is ordered to change its rules by international governing body after she lifted 200kg more than female competitor
- Canada’s powerlifting body told to follow global rules for trans competitors
- The IPF has issued the organization an ultimatum after concerns over fairness
- It comes as lifter April Hutchinson wrote a fiery DailyMail.com column last week
A transgender athlete could be banned from powerlifting after Canada’s union for the sport was ordered to align with the international governing body’s rules on transgender competitors.
The International Powerlifting Federation (IPF) issued the Canadian Powerlifting Union (CPU) with the ultimatum Monday after Anne Andres trounced her female competitors at an event earlier this month, smirking as she stood on the podium.
IPF rules state that competitors must prove their gender identity with government-issued ID and disclose their testosterone levels, mirroring similar policies by international sports governing bodies.
The move comes after Hutchinson shared her frustration in a fiery opinion piece for DailyMail.com where she pleaded for fairness in the sport and slammed Andres for mocking her female rivals as ‘weak.’
‘It’s bodies that are playing sports, not identities. I don’t care about everything else but when it comes down to sports, it’s about bodies and biology and science, and strength, especially with powerlifting,’ Hutchinson said today.
‘There was no policy. Anyone could walk up. A man could walk in tomorrow, identify “as a girl”, and then just powerlift and then go back to being a man. No testosterone monitoring.’
Last week, Andres, 40, who currently holds multiple powerlifting records in the women’s division, competed at the Canadian Powerlifting Union’s 2023 Western Canadian Championship. Her total powerlifting score was 597.5kg (the total sum of the heaviest weight lifted in squat, bench and deadlift.) This was more than 200kg than her next nearest competitor, SuJan Gill, at 387.5kg.
April Hutchinson shared her concerns in an op-ed last week and is now overjoyed to learn the Canadian Powerlifting Union (CPU) has been told to follow the official guidelines
Transgender athlete Anne Andres (above) weighed 200lbs and deadlifted 314lbs in 2019. Today, Andres weighs nearly 260lbs and deadlifts over 500
Andres stepped up to the podium which featured a T-Rex – a dig at her competitors after she slammed one for ‘having little T-Rex arms’ and slammed women for being ‘bad’ at the sport. She is pictured next to the only two female competitors in the competition after women refused to compete against her
Last year, Andres also ridiculed her female competitors in a video, questioning why women’s bench is ‘so bad’, before saying another powerlifter has ‘tiny little T-Rex arms’.
The footage also included the powerlifter referring to herself as a ‘t****y freak’ so she ‘doesn’t count’ in her ‘controversial opinion’.
She said: ‘Standard bench in a powerlifting competition for women, I literally don’t understand why its [sic] so bad.’
At this year’s competition, she stood on a podium with a T-Rex toy next to the only two women who would compete against her after two others dropped out.
But Andres could be out of the sport if the CPU follows through on the ultimatum, or risk being suspended if it doesn’t comply.
Gaston Parage, the IPF President, confirmed to DailyMail.com that it issued the ultimatum on Monday, states in its rules that ‘no lifter should have an unfair and disproportionate advantage over another athlete’.
‘It is important to do that because we worked out the transgender policy we wanted to make sure that we don’t discriminate against women. It is needed to have such a policy to make sure if a transgender compete, that it is fair the women. That is how we worked out the transgender policy,’ he said.
‘It’s different in different sports, we are a strength sport so of course, it is different from other sport and so we worked out a long time this policy but Canada never did follow that policy.
‘They risk to be suspended if they do not follow that policy.’
Now, those who transition from male to female may compete against women if they have declared they are transgender and have a valid passport bearing a female gender. The declaration cannot be changed, for competition purposes for a minimum of four years, IPF guidelines state.
A number of other conditions are outlined, including testosterone levels being monitored by testing which are also required to stay below a certain limit.
Gaston Parage, IPF President, confirmed to DailyMail.com that a message had been sent to Canada requesting the official guidelines are followed.
‘It is important to do that because we worked out the transgender policy we wanted to make sure that we don’t discriminate against women,’ he said.
‘It is needed to have such a policy to make sure if a transgender compete, that it is fair the women. That is how we worked out the transgender policy,’ he said.
‘It’s different in different sports, we are a strength sport so of course, it is different from other sport and so we worked out a long time this policy but Canada never did follow that policy. They risk to be suspended if they do not follow that policy.’
DailyMail.com has approached Shane Martin, the President of the Canadian Powerlifting Union for comment.
Hutchinson believes the policy is ‘very strict’ to get through.
‘It’s protecting women. The IPF have stepped in. They don’t believe in discrimination against women, and it’s not fair, so this policy is a step in the right direction for women and girls and sports,’ she said.
‘Right now, that means that Anne cannot lift. [She] will have to apply and go through all the testing, get all the medical documentation – it could take years.’
Hutchinson was supposed to compete against Andres in the Canadian National Championships in February. She didn’t show up.
It wasn’t until the pair argued over transgender New Zealand weightlifter Laurel Hubbard’s (above) participation in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics that Hutchinson learned that Andres was a biological man
Hutchinson told DailyMail.com that she and Andres used to be friends, but claims she had no idea that she had been born a biological man – eventually transitioning after the age of 20.
One day the pair argued over New Zealand weightlifter Laurel Hubbard – the first openly transgender woman to compete in the Olympic Games – when Hutchinson found out Andres was also transgender.
‘I had no idea he was a man. I refused to compete against him,’ she said.
She said Andres competing has caused unequal playing field in her sport, with others who share the same view protesting at their events, or not participating at all.
‘Andres was taking away podium spots and basically getting records, that shouldn’t be.
‘It just doesn’t give women a fair chance at sport, it’s not an even playing field. Why spend money on federations or a sport when you’re just set up to fail or to lose, when there’s just so many physical advantages that a man has?
‘There’s a reason why men why sports have men and women categories. We do deserve like fair sports and to have men in our in our sport. I mean, it’s, it’s not fair.
‘There’s a reason why there’s, Paralympics, there’s different categories – men’s, women’s, weight classes.’
For more than a year, Hutchinson has been writing letters and trying to have her voice heard.
She’s been working with the the IPF over the past six months, hoping to see change.
‘I do believe that transgender athletes should have a place to lift – they just need a separate category, they need to be in their own division,’ she said.
‘It has to be on a fair playing field. I was just in tears when I found out. I’ve lost so much sleep over the last two years knowing that there was a man competing in my federation.
‘When I first came out with this fight, I felt so alone, I had so much anxiety and fear. It’s incredible what speaking up can do. So many people are afraid and shouldn’t be.’
Last week, Hutchinson laid bare her feelings about feelings of about Andres competing in a local competition, taking out the top spot.
‘A smirking 6’2″ Anne Andres stepped on the podium at the Canadian Powerlifting Union’s women’s regional championship earlier this August to claim the gold medal.
‘What was so funny, I’ll never know. But certainly, women are being treated like a joke.
‘Andres, a trans person, lifted 1,327lbs, calculated from the combined weight of three lifts: squat, bench and deadlift, and beat the closest competition by a whopping 470lbs.
‘The top 20 men’s competitors lift over 2,000lbs. If Andres competed against them, Andres wouldn’t even rank in the top 6,000.
‘But Andres’ deadlift was the second highest in women’s weightlifting history. It doubly was shocking because athletes setting records in my sport are in their 20s and early 30s.’
Now Hutchinson hopes the work she’d done campaigning will pay off, saying: ‘This means more to me than any medal I could ever earn. This is actually probably my biggest achievement in life is to be able to change this policy.
‘I have two nieces that I want to protect, and they’re six years old.
‘When they grow up, they’re gonna have a fair and safe sports for girls and women.’
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