Sparking complaints that Hubbard has an unfair advantage
New Zealand has named transgender weightlifter Laurel Hubbard to participate in the Commonwealth Games. As Gavin, Hubbard was a national junior record holder in the male 105kg class. As Laurel, Hubbard will compete in the female 90kg-plus division.
Australia’s weightlifting chief says New Zealand’s selection of transgender athlete Laurel Hubbard will create an uneven playing field at next year’s Commonwealth Games.
Hubbard, who will compete in the 90kg-plus division on the Gold Coast, will be the first transgender athlete to represent New Zealand at a Commonwealth Games.
As Gavin Hubbard, the 39-year-old was a national junior record-holder in the male 105kg class before she transitioned into a woman in her mid-30s.
Rival athletes complained that she had an unfair advantage after she won gold at the Australian Open this year, lifting 123 kilos in the snatch and 145 kilos in the clean and jerk.
Australian Weightlifting Federation chief executive Michael Keelan on Friday claimed Hubbard would have both a physiological and mental edge over her rivals.
“We’re in a power sport which is normally related to masculine tendencies … where you’ve got that aggression, you’ve got the right hormones, then you can lift bigger weights,” he told AAP.
“If you’ve been a male and you’ve lifted certain weights and then you suddenly transition to a female, then psychologically you know you’ve lifted those weights before.
“I personally don’t think it’s a level playing field. That’s my personal view and I think it’s shared by a lot of people in the sporting world.”
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