(Anchorage, Alaska June 17, 2019) There is reportedly a filing under the Minnesota Human Rights Act alleging discrimination on the part of USA Powerlifting with regard to not allowing transgender females to compete in the women’s competition division. USA Powerlifting has not seen this filing, although objects to the characterization of these allegations as charges. No criminal complaint has been authored or issued, and this mischaracterization represents the language of bullying and abuse as has been directed at USA Powerlifting, its officials, and members.

It is a further inaccurate to describe USA Powerlifting as banning transgender athletes. Our rules state that divisions are based on sex, and that analysis of scientific data reflects the inherent differences in strength in powerlifting, between biological males (XY) and biological females (XX). This difference is so significant that reduction of androgens does not, and cannot overcome these differences. To allow those born and who went through puberty as males to compete as females would be inherently discriminatory against a federally protected class: women. Further, allowing transgender males to use androgens when no other category of athlete is allowed them represents an unfair advantage and against the founding principles of USA Powerlifting. Accordingly, transgender women are allowed to compete in the division reflecting their birth, and transgender men may compete without androgens.

The question of whether a governmental entity may dictate an inherently unfair and discriminatory practice, ignoring the evidence that to do so will damage a specific group or several groups of athletes is a larger issue. It goes to the heart of whether it is appropriate for government to intrude on the practices and rules of a private entity acting to protect fair play, in recognition of scientific evidence about the factors involved. The issue of whether USA Powerlifting may be singled out in the context of other similar organizations with similar rules may well represent abuse of discretion, over-interpretation of “public accommodation” as defined in Minnesota statutes, and misuse of the protected group based on sexual orientation. USA Powerlifting is decidedly not biased against nor discriminatory to anyone based on sexual orientation or preference and welcomes all to participate who comply with our rules. USA Powerlifting will examine this complaint should it proceed and if received, will defend our policies and practices vigorously.

USA Powerlifting remains committed to a platform that is drug free and fair for all.

USA Powerlifting Transgender Participation Policy

American Drug Free Powerlifting Association dba USA Powerlifting


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