Surfing champion Bethany Hamilton said she will not compete against transgender athletes, in the wake of the World Surf League's (WSL) new testosterone level rule.
Announced Friday, the new policy takes effect immediately and states that transgender athletes must show a testosterone level of less than 5 nmol/L continuously for a year in order to compete. According to The Inertia, the WSL adopted the International Surfing Association's transgender policy, which passed in October.
Hamilton, 32, took to her Instagram account Sunday to voice her opposition to the new rule.
"I think many of the girls currently on tour are not in support with this new rule and they fear being ostracized if they speak up," she said.
"How is this rule playing out in other sports like swimming, running, MMA?" she asked. "Have any of the current surfers in the World Surf League been asked what their thoughts and opinions are on this new rule before it was passed or announced? Should there be a conversation with the 17 women and all of the men on tour prior to a rule change such as this?"
Hamilton, who lost her left arm in a 2003 shark attack, then asked if deciding whether someone is male or female is as "simple" as determining their hormone level and questioned who was pushing the policy change.
The veteran surfer continued by proposing a solution she believes would be fair to all athletes.
"I personally think that the best solution would be to create a different division so that all can have a fair opportunity to showcase their passion and talent — and I think it's really hard to imagine what the future of women's surfing will be like in 15-20 years down the road if we move forward allowing this major change," Hamilton said.
"I personally won't be competing in or supporting the World Surf League if this rule remains," she added.
WSL Chief of Sport Jessi Miley-Dyer told The Inertia the policy, while important, is not set in stone.
"The WSL is working hard to balance equity and fairness and it's important for a policy to be in place," Miley-Dyer said Friday. "We recognize that the policy may need to evolve over time as we get feedback and see new research in the field."
The debate over allowing biological men who identify as female to compete in women's divisions has become heated across all sports, with many female athletes saying it puts them at a disadvantage.
The Christian Post reported female swimmers at the University of Pennsylvania voiced concerns about their teammate Lia Thomas in several anonymous statements to the sports website Outkick. Thomas is a transgender female who competed on the UPenn men's team for three years before transitioning and broke female swimming records in 2021.
© 2023 Newsmax. All rights reserved.