Emily Bridges accuses British Cycling bosses of ‘furthering a genocide’ after transgender riders banned from female category
Transgender cyclist Emily Bridges has accused British Cycling of “furthering a genocide” after the organisation said it would prevent transgender women from competitive female events.
Ms Bridges, 22, criticised the national body as a “failed organisation” that committed a “violent act” as she contemplated quitting competitive cycling in a blistering Instagram statement.
“Does it surprise me that the same organisation funded directly by a state that ships vulnerable refugees to Rwanda, violently clamps down on any political dissent that they disapprove of, or starves their people? No, of course, it doesn’t,” she said.
“The same organisation with actively homophobic coaches, who encouraged eating disorders and did nothing about any bullying between its riders.
“You don’t care about making sport more diverse, you want to make yourself look better and you’re even failing at that. Cycling is still one of the whitest, straightest sports out there, and you couldn’t care less.
“Bans from sport is how it starts, look at what is going on in America. It starts with sports bans, then youth and general healthcare and then bans from public life through bathroom bans.
“Just look at the situation, and who is on your side. When literal Nazis, conspiracy theorists and those who want our eradication are on your side, surely that should give you pause?”
Ms Bridges also said she was “having to consider an exit plan from this terrible island and figure out what point enough is enough”.
British Cycling announced on Friday that transgender women will not be allowed to compete in competitive women’s events, while the men’s category will become an open one.
It said the female category will be for those riders whose sex was assigned female at birth and transgender men who are yet to begin hormone therapy.
The new policy only covers British Cycling events and will take effect by the end of the year.
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It ends the hopes of Ms Bridges of competing for Great Britain or Wales in women’s races.
Bridges, who set a national junior men’s record over 25 miles in 2018, came out as a transgender woman in October 2020 and began hormone therapy last year to reduce her testosterone levels.
Ms Bridges was banned from competing in her first women’s event in Derby – when she was due to face five-time Olympic champion Dame Laura Kenny – after cycling’s global governing body decided she was not eligible to race because she was still registered as a male cyclist.
The Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI), cycling’s world governing body, is yet to announce a new transgender eligibility position.
British Cycling apologised for the “uncertainty and upset that many have felt” since their transgender and non-binary participation policy was suspended in April 2022 to carry out research and consultation.
British Triathlon announced plans last year for an “open category” for men, transgender women and non-binary athletes.
International athletics and swimming governing bodies have banned athletes who underwent male puberty from competing in international women’s events.