Transgender Texas Wrestling Star Raises Difficult Questions Over Competition Rules For Students On Steriods

Transgender Texas Wrestling Star Raises Difficult Questions Over Competition Rules For Students On Steriods

by jonathanturley

JONATHAN TURLEY / 2017-02-28 01:11

There is an ongoing controversy over the new wrestling champion of Euless Trinity High School, Mack Beggs, 17. Beggs was born a girl but is now a transgender boy taking testosterone as part of his treatment. However, the UIL Wrestling State Tournament officials decided that Beggs would still compete as a girl despite the fact that he is taking steroids that have bulked him up in a way that would be normally a banning offense.

Beggs is 110 pounds and has been met by some boos by those who view the decision as unfair to the girls who have to play against someone who has added considerable muscle through doses of testosterone. The decision however was not Beggs but the state’s governing body which requires him to compete as a girl. The result is a lawsuit seeking to ban Beggs from competition as a girl next year.

The more than 600 Texas school district superintendents voted last year to determine gender by birth certificate — a decision that contradicts NCAA policy and International Olympic Committee guidelines.

The decision on how to handle transgender athletes has presented difficult issues for schools. It seems that the one clearly wrong answer is to force girls to compete against a player who is taking steroids and bulking up as a transition to a male. This seems pretty unfair to the female competitors. That leaves a couple of choices. One would be to require competition as a boy in such cases. However, there is also the questions raised when a boy transitions as a girl and thus has more physical muscle mass. Likewise, you could prevent any students from competing while taking steroids for any purpose or at least high levels of steroids. Yet, such exclusion rules can make will make if clearly more difficult for transgender students who are seeking to participate in sports and clubs as part of their new identity.

What do you think?

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