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"Why alienate 50 per cent of their audience?": Daley Thompson slams British Cycling for transgender athlete policy

Olympic silver medal-winning swimmer Sharron Davies also criticised the governing body's trans athlete policy...

Olympic medallists from Games past Daley Thompson and Sharron Davies have criticised British Cycling's transgender athlete policy during an empassioned debate sparked by the governing body sharing its "zero-tolerance" to hate message on social media.

Thompson, who won decathlon gold in 1980 and 1984, was responding to British Cycling tweeting an updated version of its transgender policy, in which it stated: "We take a zero-tolerance approach to instances of hate being targeted at individuals because of their views of gender identity."

> British Cycling launch consultation on transgender policy

British Cycling's policy states that members should "accept all participants in the gender they present" and that anyone breaching the guidelines, which includes "stigmatisation or discrimination" against a competitor, will face "appropriate action".

The two-time Olympic gold medallist asked why the policy was "prepared to alienate at least 50 per cent of their audience?"

"More importantly why would they do it so easily. Whose interests are they really looking after?" Thompson tweeted.

Davies, who won silver in swimming at the 1980 Moscow Olympics, went further, accusing the governing body of not looking after its female athletes.

"It's your job to look after female athletes as well as male ones," she said. "The very least you could do is listen and work with the actual science. I will remind and remind you of your position in years to come."

In May, British Cycling announced it would be conducting a five-week consultation into its transgender and non-binary policy.

The policy was first published in October 2020 and received backing from former professional cyclist Philippa York.

Dan joined in 2020, and spent most of his first year (hopefully) keeping you entertained on the live blog. At the start of 2022 he took on the role of news editor. Before joining, Dan wrote about various sports, including football and boxing for the Daily Express, and covered the weird and wonderful world of non-league football for The Non-League Paper. Part of the generation inspired by the 2012 Olympics, Dan has been 'enjoying' life on two wheels ever since and spends his weekends making bonk-induced trips to the petrol stations of the south of England.

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