The UK sport’s governing authority said on Friday it had voted to “immediately suspend” its current policy, which it said was “unfair to all riders”.
The decision came days after transgender cyclist Emily Bridges said she had been “harassed and demonized” after the International Cycling Union, the world’s governing body for cycling, ruled she could not compete in the UK’s national aluminum championship on April 2.
Bridges, who was about to race against British Olympic stars like Laura Kenny at the event, said she found out through British Cycling that the UCI had ruled she was ineligible.
“This in turn allows these riders to accumulate local ranking points that influence selection decisions for National Championship racing, which is not only unprecedented in our sport, but is also unfair to all riders and challenges the integrity of the racing.”
A full review will be launched in the coming weeks, the organization said, adding that it remains “committed to ensuring that transgender and non-binary people are welcome”.
The pre-agreed policy requires that any current or potential transgender or non-binary member seeking to compete in the female race category must submit a signed declaration stating that their identity is female and that they wish to compete in the female race, while also providing medical evidence that their “testosterone level The serum total was less than 5 nmol/L continuously for at least 12 months.”
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A statement posted on British Cycling’s website on March 30 said Bridges was due to take part in the event on Saturday, April 2 “under the British and non-binary cycling policy”, but added: “We have now been notified by Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) states that under their current guidelines, Emily is not eligible to participate in this event.”
Effective March 1, 2020, UCI regulations state that transgender women must lower their testosterone levels below 5 nmol/L for at least 12 months in order to compete in female events.
However, according to the Guardian, UCI has barred Bridges from competing because it said she is still registered as a male cyclist and is therefore ineligible to compete as a woman until her UCI identification card expires.
CNN has reached out to Bridges’ representatives for comment.
Earlier this month, Bridges said in a statement that she had been in touch with British Cycling and the UCI for the past six months, ahead of what was supposed to be her first race at a women’s event.
“At the time, I provided medical evidence to both British Cycling and the UCI that I met the eligibility criteria for transgender female cyclists, including that my testosterone limit had been well below the limit set by regulations for the past 12 months,” In her statement, published by LGBTQIA+ cycling group PRiDE OUT, Bridges said.
“I’m an athlete, and I just want to race competitively again,” Bridges said. “No one should have to choose between being themselves, and participating in the sport they love.”
Bridges initially posted the statement on her Instagram account, but has since made the account private.