Rugby League has become the second major sporting body to ban transgender athletes from participating in international events.
According to The Daily Telegraph, International Rugby League will prohibit ‘male to female’ players from playing in international competitions until further research is carried out.
“In the interest of avoiding unnecessary welfare, legal and reputational risk to International Rugby League competitions, and those competing therein, the IRL believes there is a requirement and responsibility to further consult and complete additional research before finalising its policy,” the organization said.
“The IRL reaffirms its belief that rugby league is a game for all and that anyone and everyone can play our sport. It is the IRL’s responsibility to balance the individual’s right to participate — a longstanding principle of rugby league and at its heart from the day it was established — against perceived risk to other participants, and to ensure all are given a fair hearing.”
The move comes after swimming’s international governing body ruled over the weekend that biological males can only participate in women’s competitions if they completed their gender transition as children.
FINA announced on Sunday the move to restrict trans participation in women’s competitions for male athletes who went through puberty due to the physiological advantages males acquire during their development.
The organization’s President Husain Al-Musallam said FINA is leading the way for preserving fairness of competition in women’s sports.
“We have to protect the rights of our athletes to compete, but we also have to protect competitive fairness at our events, especially the women’s category at FINA competitions,” he said.