Trans Cyclist Leia Genis Has Been Stripped of Her Silver Medal Midway Through a National Competition

The UCI recently tightened its restrictions on trans athletes participating, as the cycling magazine reported in June. Previously, the athletic board’s guidelines stipulated that trans woman athletes need to have had testosterone levels below 5 nmol/L for 12 months. Now, athletes must demonstrate a testosterone level of 2.5 nanomoles per liter (nmol/L) for two years. 

It’s unclear whether or not these guidelines were communicated to Genis ahead of time, or whether this was the reason why Genis’ medal was revoked; as of this writing, neither have issued a statement. But Genis began racing last year, meaning that there would have been plenty of time to communicate these guidelines to her. 

This incident follows a trend of athletic governing bodies cracking down on trans athlete participation, even though there is no evidence that athletes who are medically transitioning have any innate athletic advantage. The NCAA, which governs college athletics, recently ruled that each national governing body must set its own standards for trans athletic participation, rather than establishing a universal guideline that would explicitly allow trans athletes in all sports. 

Many have commented that the NCAA decision appeared to be the result of national media scrutiny about trans swimmer Lia Thomas. Yet despite all the media posturing, neither Thomas nor Genis are even close to “dominating the competition” in either of their respective sports, as trans athletes are often accused of doing.

“I will continue to train and race but this experience has left me disgusted and abhorred,” Genis wrote in the conclusion to her Instagram post. “Trans women are women. Sport is a human right. I deserve the right to race.”

Get the best of what’s queer. Sign up for Them’s weekly newsletter here.


This website uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you accept our use of cookies.