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Team USA World Masters track athlete Cynthia Monteleone accused President Biden on Thursday of putting “a nail in the coffin in the death of female sports” with his new proposed regulations that would include gender identity protections under Title IX.
“Let’s just face it, the administration’s ruling on Title IX just puts a nail in the coffin in the death of female sports,” Monteleone told “America Reports” host John Roberts. “You can say whatever you want about identification, but when it comes down to it, it’s a body versus a body, and both science and common sense tell us there is an advantage of a male body over a female body.”
The Biden administration marked the 50th anniversary of Title IX on Thursday with the announcement of new regulations that would include gender identity under the law’s protections. The Department of Education said the goal is to “strengthen protections for LGBTQI+ students who face discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity.”
Monteleone said the administration, with these new regulations, is “killing the very definition of Title IX, which is inclusion of women and it’s actually excluding women by their interpretation.”
The track athlete relayed her personal experience competing against a biological male during the 2018 World Masters Athletics Championships in Málaga, Spain. She was advised at the time to keep quiet after raising concerns over a fair playing field when competing against transgender athletes, she said. Since then, she has emerged as an outspoken defender of female athletes and fair competition across women’s sports.
“When I went to Team USA management, my administration, my sports body administration, they told me there was nothing they could do and later said in fact we encourage you to keep quiet about this for your own safety,” Monteleone recalled.
“As you can see, I’m still not keeping quiet about it,” she added.
Biden’s proposed regulations come days after FINA, swimming’s international governing body, approved a new policy that would limit the participation of transgender women from competing in high-level women’s swimming events.
The policy was put in place after University of Pennsylvania swimmer Lia Thomas made headlines for dominating on women’s teams as a transgender athlete, raising questions of fairness as scientists determined that transgender women athletes who went through typical male puberty during adolescence still hold a competitive edge over their biologically female competitors.
The FINA decision sparked immediate backlash from LGBTQ advocates and athletes, among them U.S. women’s soccer star Megan Rapinoe, who downplayed the prevalence of transgender athletes dominating in women’s sports.
Monteleone said Rapinoe is “in denial,” because ” it’s clearly happening with Thomas taking spots on the podium. She’s only doing it for attention and not facing or speaking the truth.”
“I see it firsthand not only with my experience, but my daughter raced her very first high school race in ninth grade against a biological male body,” she said.
Monteleone relayed a recent “heartbreaking” phone call she had with a mother whose daughter had to place third to get into the California state championship but was beaten by two athletes that were both “male-bodied,” placing fourth.
“It’s happening more than you think,” she said. “But the media, unfortunately, is choosing not to report about it. And so you know, I would like to think she [Rapinoe] just does not know, but I think she knows better.”
Monteleone said she’s given “a lot of thought” into whether a solution could be found that would include the participation of transgender athletes in women’s sports.
“I do coach everyone from youth athletes to Olympians, and the bottom line is that male bodies will always have an advantage over female bodies because of the changes that begin as early as the womb,” she said. “So, even after gender reassignment surgery and hormone treatment they still have an advantage.
“Bottom line is that male bodies cannot compete next to female bodies and have females still have the opportunities that we deserve.”