HONOLULU – The American Medical Association (AMA) today joined a growing number of medical organizations around the world objecting to eligibility criteria that force transgender athletes and athletes with differences in sexual development (DSD) to medically alter natural occurring hormones.
Physicians and medical students gathered at the Interim Meeting of the AMA House of Delegates adopted policy opposed to mandatory medical testing, treatment or surgery for transgender athletes and athletes with DSD to compete in alignment with their identity. The new AMA policy also opposes use of specific hormonal guidelines to determine gender classification for athletic competition as well as physician participation in certifying or confirming an athlete’s gender for the purpose of satisfying third party requirements.
“The AMA opposes athletic eligibility regulations that contribute to discrimination and stigma attached to naturally occurring differences in gender and sexual identity, sexual development and orientation,” said AMA Board Member, David H. Aizuss, M.D. “Unnecessary medical interventions to change natural hormone variations as a prerequisite for athletic competition must not be forced on physicians to artificially alter the natural ability of transgender athletes and athletes with differences in sexual development.”
The new AMA policy responds to eligibility criteria from World Athletics. The international governing body for track and field events requires suppression of naturally high testosterone levels in female athletes with DSD and transgender athletes as a prerequisite to compete with other female athletes. World Athletics relied heavily on a 2017 study in developing eligibility criteria that has since been deemed flawed. Despite the authors of the study acknowledging that a causal relationship could not be established between elevated testosterone levels and performance advantages for elite female athletes, World Athletics has not modified its eligibility requirements.
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