IOC approves consensus with regard to athletes who have changed sex

17 May 2004
IOC News

The Executive Board of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) today approved the consensus proposed by the IOC Medical Commission stating the conditions to be respected for a person who has changed sex to compete in sports competitions. These conditions will be applied as of the Games of the XXVIII Olympiad in 2004 in Athens.

Consensus based on ad-hoc committee

The consensus is based on an ad-hoc committee convened by the IOC Medical Commission that met on 28 October 2003 in Stockholm to discuss and issue recommendations on the participation of individuals who have undergone sex reassignment (male to female and vice versa) in sport.The group was composed of: Prof. Arne Ljungqvist (SWE), Prof. Odile Cohen-Haguenauer (FRA), Prof. Myron Genel (USA), Prof. Joe Leigh Simpson (USA), Prof. Martin Ritzen (SWE), Prof. Marc Fellous (FRA) and Dr Patrick Schamasch (FRA).

Sex reassignment before puberty

The group confirms the previous recommendation that any “individuals undergoing sex reassignment of male to female before puberty should be regarded as girls and women” (female). This also applies to individuals undergoing female to male reassignment, who should be regarded as boys and men (male).

Sex reassignment after puberty

The group recommends that individuals undergoing sex reassignment from male to female after puberty (and vice versa) be eligible for participation in female or male competitions, respectively, under the following conditions:

- Surgical anatomical changes have been completed, including external genitalia changes and gonadectomy

- Legal recognition of their assigned sex has been conferred by the appropriate official authorities

- Hormonal therapy appropriate for the assigned sex has been administered in a verifiable manner and for a sufficient length of time to minimise gender-related advantages in sport competitions.

Two years after gonadectomy

In the opinion of the group, eligibility should begin no sooner than two years after gonadectomy.

It is understood that a confidential case-by-case evaluation will occur. In the event that the gender of a competing athlete is questioned, the medical delegate (or equivalent) of the relevant sporting body shall have the authority to take all appropriate measures for the determination of the gender of a competitor.

Explanatory note to the recommendation on sex reassignment and sports

Statement of the Stockholm consensus on sex reassignment in sports

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