Surfing news 2023, Bethany Hamilton to boycott transgender rules on WSL

American surfing icon Bethany Hamilton has said she will boycott the pro tour due to new guidelines regarding transgender competitors.

Her statement in an Instagram video follows the World Surf League (WSL) announcing that it will adopt the policies of the International Surfing Association (ISA) with respect to transgender athletes.

The ISA updated its laws in October to state that athletes who are assigned male at birth must maintain a testosterone level below five nmol/L (nanomoles per litre) for 12 months to be eligible for a female event.

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Athletes are advised to arrange testing themselves and then consult with the WSL Chief Medical Officer in order to qualify.

“The WSL works hard to balance fairness and fairness and it’s important that a policy is in place,” WSL leader Jessi Miley-Dyer told The Inertia.

“We recognize that the policy may need to evolve over time as we receive feedback and see new research in the field.”

But that’s apparently not good enough for Hamilton, 32, who says: ‘I personally will not participate in the World Surf League or support the World Surf League if this rule remains.’

Hamilton strongly believes that born male athletes should not be allowed to compete professionally against women.

Hamilton is a top athlete in the WSL. She had her left arm bitten by a tiger shark when she was 13, has published a number of books and been the subject of feature films and documentaries.

“It concerns me as a professional athlete who has been competing for over 15 years,” Hamilton said on Instagram of the transgender politics.

“I feel like I have to stand up and speak on behalf of those in a position who may think they can’t say anything about it.

“I think a lot of girls who are on tour are not supportive of this new rule, and they fear being ostracized if they speak out.

“How does this rule play out in other sports, like swimming, running and MMA?

“Have any of the current World Surf League surfers been asked what they thought and thought of this new rule before it was passed or announced? Should there be a conversation?

“Is a hormone level an honest and accurate representation that someone is indeed male or female? Is it that simple?

“Who is pushing for this huge change? Is it improving the sport of surfing? Is it better for female surfers? If so, how?

“I personally think that the best solution would be to create a different division so that everyone can have a fair opportunity to show their passion and talent, and I think it’s really hard to imagine what the future of surfing will look like. 15-20 years later if we move forward with allowing this major change.”

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