posted on May, 17 2004 @ 04:23 PM
LAUSANNE, Switzerland (AP) — Transsexuals have been cleared to compete in the Olympics for the first time.
Under a proposal approved Monday by the IOC executive board, athletes who have undergone sex-change surgery will be eligible for the Olympics if their
new gender has been legally recognized and they have gone through a minimum two-year period of postoperative hormone therapy.
The decision, which covers both male-to-female and female-to-male cases, goes into affect starting with this summer's Athens Olympics. The IOC had put
off a decision on so-called transgender athletes in February, saying more time was needed to consider all the medical issues.
Some members had been concerned whether male-to-female transsexuals would have physical advantages competing against women. Men have higher levels of
testosterone and greater muscle-to-fat ratio and heart and lung capacity. However, doctors say, testosterone levels and muscle mass drop after hormone
therapy and sex-change surgery.