USA Powerlifting Organization Bans Transgender Women from Competing

Jason Stanislawczyk does a deadlift during a CrossFit workout at Ross Valley CrossFit on March 13, 2014, in San Anselmo, California. The USA Powerlifting has banned transgender women competing as women from their competitions. Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

USA Powerlifting has announced they have banned transgender women from competing as women in competitions.

The organization released a statement earlier this week, stating that "not all powerlifters are eligible to compete in USA Powerlifting."

"USA Powerlifting is an inclusive organization for all athletes and members who comply with its rules, policies, procedures, and bylaws. USA Powerlifting is not a fit for every athlete and for every medical condition or situation," the statement read.

The statement continues to state that the organization follows the policies of the International Powerlifting Federation (IPF), which allegedly enables transgender women to participate from competing in women competitions. It explains that the use of "testosterone or other androgens, commonly used to assist in transition from female to male," is not allowed.

"By virtue of the anabolic nature of these compounds, they are not allowed, nor is a Therapeutic Use Exemption granted for such use for anyone," the statement continued to read. "This applies to any and all medical conditions which might be treated through use of androgens."

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The organization also stated that transgender women cannot participate because of "potential advantage in strength sports" due to hormones.

"Through analysis the impact of maturation in the presence naturally occurring androgens as the level necessary for male development, significant advantages are had, including but not limited to increased body and muscle mass, bone density, bone structure, and connective tissue,' the statement read. "These advantages are not eliminated by reduction of serum androgens such as testosterone yielding a potential advantage in strength sports such as powerlifting."

JayCee Cooper, a transgender woman, told that she had applied to compete in a USA Powerlifting event in Minnesota, but her application was denied in December. She still competed in smaller events in her home town for the league's untested division. Cooper hopes that the organization will include transgender individuals one day.

"I am hopeful that the USAPL membership will stand up for trans inclusion and be on the right side of history. Trans athletes should not be feared but celebrated fiercely," Cooper told the publication.

In 2017, a high school student who is transitioning won his 110-pound weight class during the Texas girl's state championship. Mack Beggs, who is transgender, wrestled for the Texas championship because the state sports regulations require athletes to compete according to their assigned birth gender. Beggs won his first competition when he was a junior at Trinity High School in Dallas, Texas.