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Team USA World Masters track athlete Cynthia Monteleone on Thursday accused President Biden of putting “a nail in the coffin in the death of women’s sport” with his new settlement proposal that would include gender identity protections under Title IX.
“Let’s face it, the administration’s decision on Title IX only puts a nail in the coffin for the death of women’s sports,” Monteleone told “America Reports” host John Roberts. “You can say what you want about ID, but at the end of the day, it’s body versus body, and science and common sense tell us there’s an advantage to a male body over to a female body.”
The Biden administration celebrated the 50th anniversary of Title IX on Thursday with the announcement of new regulations that would include gender identity as part of the law’s protections. The Department for Education said the aim was to “strengthen the protection of LGBTQI+ students who face discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity”.
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Monteleone said the administration, with these new regulations, “kills the very definition of Title IX, which is the inclusion of women and which in effect excludes women by their interpretation.”
The track athlete shared his personal experience competing against a biological male at the 2018 World Masters Athletics Championships in Malaga, Spain. He was advised at the time to keep quiet after raising concerns about a fair playing field in a competition against transgender athletes, she said. Since then, she has become a strong advocate for female athletes and fair competition in women’s sports.
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“When I went to Team USA management, my administration, my sports organization administration, they told me there was nothing they could do and later said, in fact, we encourage you to keep the silence about it for your own safety,” Monteleone recalled.
“As you can see, I’m still not silent,” she added.
Biden’s proposed regulations come days after swimming’s international governing body FINA approved a new policy that limit the participation of transgender women to participate in high-level women’s swimming competitions.
The policy was put in place after University of Pennsylvania swimmer Lia Thomas made headlines for dominating women’s teams as a transgender athlete, raising questions of fairness as scientists determined than transgender female athletes who went through typical male puberty during adolescence still hold a competitive advantage over their biologically female competitors.
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FINA’s decision sparked an immediate backlash from LGBTQ advocates and athletes, including American women. soccer star Megan Rapinoe, who downplayed the prevalence of transgender athletes dominating in female sports.
Monteleone said Rapinoe was “in denial” because “it’s clearly happening with Thomas taking podium places. She’s only doing it to get attention and not to confront or tell the truth.”
“I see it firsthand not just with my experience, but my daughter ran her very first race in high school 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 enter the California State Championship, but was beaten by two athletes who were both “at male body”, ranking fourth.
“It happens more than you think,” she said. “But the media, unfortunately, chooses not to talk about it. And so you know, I’d like to think that she [Rapinoe] just doesn’t know, but I think she knows better.”
Monteleone said she had “thought a lot” about whether a solution could be found that would include the participation of transgender athletes in women’s sports.
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“I train everyone from young athletes to Olympians, and the bottom line is that male bodies will always have an edge over female bodies because of the changes that start right from the womb,” she said. “So even after sex reassignment surgery and hormone therapy, they still have an edge.
“At the end of the day, male bodies can’t compete with female bodies, and women still get the opportunities we deserve.”