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Transgender Guideline application
in World Rugby Tournaments

Legal aspects of the transgender guideline and application in world rugby tournament

General

  • World Rugby, as the international federation responsible for the global governance and regulation of the sport of rugby, has adopted this Transgender Guideline (the "Guideline") in order to facilitate the participation of transgender and non-binary players at the international level of the sport in the category of competition that is consistent with their gender identity, where it is safe and fair to do
  • The Guideline operates as a "Policy" in all World Rugby Tournaments. This means that it will be applied as set out within the Guideline with no amendments
  • It is strongly recommended that each Union adopts its own regulations to determine the eligibility of transgender players to compete in events taking place under its own jurisdiction.  Unions  should take account of  the information provided in this Guideline but may also take into account any relevant aspects of local law which apply within the Union's jurisdiction and with which the Union is legally obliged to comply. For the avoidance of doubt, however, anything that the Union does (or does not do) at national level will not affect the eligibility of transgender players to compete in World Rugby Tournaments. That will instead be determined exclusively by reference to this
  • World Rugby wishes to be as inclusive as possible, to impose only necessary and proportionate restrictions on eligibility, and to provide a clear path to participation in the sport for
  • World Rugby recognises that transgender players may wish to compete in rugby in accordance with their gender identity. World Rugby wishes to encourage and facilitate such participation, on conditions that go only so far as is necessary to protect the safety of all participants and to ensure fair and meaningful
  • World Rugby took the following into account when developing this Guideline:
  • World Rugby needs to establish conditions for participation in the sport of rugby, including eligibility categories, that (a) protect the health and safety of participants; and (b) guarantee fair and meaningful competition that displays and rewards the fundamental values and meaning of the sport:
  • World Rugby wants its Players to be incentivised to make the huge commitments required to excel in the sport, and so to inspire  new generations to join the sport and aspire to the same excellence. It does not want to risk discouraging those aspirations by permitting competition that is not safe, fair, or
  • Those who experience a testosterone-driven puberty gain significant advantages in size, strength, and power over those who do not. Owing to the impact that such advantages can have on sporting performance and on safety, it is necessary to have separate competition categories for males and females in order to preserve the safety fairness and integrity of the sport, for the benefit of all of its participants and
  • The eligibility conditions established in this Guideline are driven solely by the desire to guarantee fairness and safety within the sport. In no way are they intended as any kind of judgement on or questioning of the gender identity or the dignity of any Transgender
  • The need to respect and preserve the dignity and privacy of transgender players, and to avoid improper discrimination and stigmatisation on grounds of gender All cases arising under this Guideline must be handled and resolved in a fair, consistent, and confidential manner, recognising the sensitive nature of such matters.
  • This Guideline will come into effect on 9m October 2020 and will apply both to cases arising prior to that date and to cases arising after that date. It will be subject to periodic review to take account of any relevant scientific or medical developments, and may be amended from time to time by World Rugby, with such amendments to take effect from the date specified by World Rugby when it issues the
  • In the event an issue arises that is not foreseen in this Guideline, it will be addressed by World Rugby in a manner that protects and promotes the imperatives identified
  • Queries in relation to this Guideline should be directed as set out at the bottom of this page.

Application in World Rugby tournaments

  • This Guideline establishes the conditions enabling transgender and non-binary players ("Relevant Players") to compete in World Rugby Tournaments in the category of competition that is consistent with their  gender    Further guidance on certain medical aspects of the Guideline can be found in the Appendix.
  • Any Relevant Player who wishes to participate in a World Rugby Tournament agrees, as a condition to such participation:
    • to comply in full with this Guideline;
    • to cooperate promptly and in good faith with the Chief Medical Officers ("CMO") of the relevant Union and/or World Rugby and, if necessary the Expert Panel of the relevant Union and/or World Rugby in the discharge of their respective responsibilities under this Guideline, including providing them with all of the information and evidence they request to assess his/her compliance and/or monitor his/her continuing compliance with the eligibility conditions referred to in this Guideline;
    • to the fullest extent permitted and required under  all  applicable  data protection and other laws, to the collection, processing, disclosure and use of information (including his/her sensitive personal information) as required to implement and apply this Guideline effectively and efficiently;
    • to follow the procedures set out herein to challenge this Guideline and/or to appeal decisions made under this Guideline, and not to bring any proceedings in any court or other forum that are inconsistent with the relevant clauses herein; and
    • to provide written confirmation of his/her agreement with this Guideline upon request by World
  • A player may revoke at any time, with or without giving reasons, the player's agreement to participate in a World Rugby Tournament in accordance with this In that event, the player will be deemed to have withdrawn any claim to satisfy the eligibility conditions for transgender players set out herein and may not participate in a World Rugby Tournament.

Eligibility conditions for transgender male athletes

  • Transgender men who have transitioned pre- or post-puberty can play in the male category subject to certain conditions which are currently:  (i)  certification  of physical ability and (ii) possession of a valid Therapeutic Use Exemption where
  • The confirmation of physical ability must include:
  • Written acknowledgement and acceptance by the player of the associated risks of playing contact rugby with males who are statistically more likely to be heavier, stronger, faster and consequently produce more force and power during physical contact situations
  • Written confirmation from a medical practitioner with an understanding of the demands of rugby, to whom the player is known, that the player is in a physical condition to play and that this view is supported by a musculo-skeletal evaluation and/or other appropriate
  • A template confirmation is attached here.
  • The Player must provide the confirmation of physical ability (and TUE if  applicable) to his Union's CMO for review.  If satisfied with same, the Union's CMO shall provide a copy to World Rugby's Chief Medical Officer no later than six weeks ahead of the World Rugby Tournament in which he wishes to
  • If satisfied with the confirmation of physical ability (and TUE if applicable), World Rugby's CMO will issue a written confirmation, to the player's Union, of that player's eligibility to compete in the male category of competition in World Rugby
  • In the event that the player does not agree with a decision of World Rugby's CMO, he may appeal such decision to the World Rugby Expert Group in accordance with the "Appeals" process set out
  • Transgender men who have been treated with testosterone (or similar) may not compete in the female
  • In the event that a transgender man decides to stop his hormone treatment  and later wishes to take part in the female category of competition, the player's Union's CMO should request World Rugby's CMO to convene the World Rugby Expert Group to consider the individual circumstances and make a decision on whether to permit his participation in the female category, taking all the circumstances into

Eligibility conditions for transgender female athletes

  • Transgender women who transitioned pre-puberty and have not experienced the biological effects of testosterone during puberty and adolescence can play women's rugby subject to confirmation of medical treatment and the timing thereof as set out
  • In the event that a transgender woman who transitioned pre-puberty wishes to participate in the female category, she must provide medical documentation, from an appropriately qualified medical specialist, to her Union's Chief Medical Officer that she has not experienced and is actively suppressing a testosterone-driven puberty]. The Union's CMO will consider such evidence and if he or she is satisfied, he/she will provide a copy to the World Rugby CMO who if satisfied, will issue a written confirmation, to the player's Union, of that player's eligibility to compete in the female category of competition in World Rugby Tournaments. This process would be renewed on an annual
  • In the event that the player does not agree with a decision of World Rugby's Chief Medical Officer, she may appeal such decision to the World Rugby Expert Group in accordance with the "Appeals" process set out
  • Transgender women who transitioned post-puberty and have experienced the biological effects of testosterone during puberty and adolescence cannot currently play women's rugby
  • Transgender women can play mixed-gender non-contact rugby

Eligibility conditions for non-binary athletes

  • Non-binary people who were identified as male at birth and have experienced the biological effects of testosterone during puberty and adolescence may play men's
  • Non-binary people who were identified as male at birth and have experienced the biological effects of testosterone during puberty and adolescence cannot currently play women's
  • Non-binary people who were identified as male at birth but who have not have not experienced the biological effects of testosterone during puberty and adolescence may participate in female rugby subject to the following conditions: In the event that a non-binary person who was identified as male at birth wishes to participate in women's rugby, they must provide medical documentation, from an appropriately qualified medical specialist, to her Union's Chief Medical Officer that she has not experienced and is actively suppressing a testosterone-driven puberty testosterone­ influenced The Union's CMO will consider such evidence and if he or she is satisfied, he/she will provide a copy to the World Rugby CMO who if satisfied, will issue a written confirmation, to the player's Union, of that player's eligibility to compete in the female category of competition in World Rugby Tournaments. This process would be renewed on an annual basis.
  • In the event that the player does not agree with a decision of World Rugby's Chief Medical Officer, she may appeal such decision to the World Rugby Expert Group in accordance with the "Appeals" process set out
  • Non-binary people who were identified as female at birth and have not experienced the biological effects of testosterone during puberty and adolescence and who have not undergone any treatment including testosterone (or any similar substance) may play women's
  • Non-binary people who were identified as female at birth and have experienced the biological effects of testosterone during puberty and adolescence can play men's rugby subject to certain conditions (currently: confirmation of physical ability and a TUE where necessary).
  • The confirmation of physical ability must include:
    • Written acknowledgement and acceptance by the player of the associated risks of playing contact rugby with males who are statistically more likely to be heavier, stronger, faster, and consequently produce more force and power during physical contact situations
    • Written confirmation from a medical practitioner with an understanding of the demands of rugby, to whom the player is known, that the player is in a physical condition to play and that this view is supported by a musculo-skeletal evaluation and/or other appropriate
    • A template confirmation is attached here.
  • The Player must provide the confirmation of physical ability (and TUE if  applicable) to their Union's CMO for If  satisfied with same, the  Union's CMO shall provide a copy to World Rugby's Chief Medical Officer no later than six weeks ahead of the World Rugby Tournament in which he wishes to participate.
  • If satisfied with the confirmation of physical ability (and TUE if applicable), World Rugby's CMO will issue a written confirmation, to the player's Union, of that player's eligibility to compete in the male category of competition in World Rugby
  • In the event that the player does not agree with a decision of World Rugby's CMO, they may appeal such decision to the World Rugby Expert Group in accordance with the "Appeals" process set out
  • For the avoidance of doubt, transgender men who have been treated with testosterone (or similar) may not compete in the female
  • For the avoidance of doubt, a transgender men who have not been treated with testosterone (or similar) may choose to play in the  female category if  they so wish to do so but  World Rugby acknowledges  that many transgender  men would not wish to play in a category that is not consistent with their gender
  • In the event that a transgender man decides to stop his hormone treatment  and later wishes to take part in the female category of competition, the player's Union's CMO should request World Rugby's CMO to convene the World Rugby Expert Group to consider the individual circumstances and make a decision on whether to permit his participation in the female category, taking all the circumstances into account
  • Non-binary people who are pre-puberty can play either boys or girls or mixed-gender rugby up to age 12 (in line with World Rugby's mixed-gender guideline) and thereafter, shall participate in rugby in accordance with the above criteria for non­ binary people depending on whether they are experiencing the biological effects of testosterone during puberty and adolescence or

Raising concerns about a player

  • In the event that a player or Union has a genuine concern about safety or fairness in relation to another player, the concern shall be dealt with as set out in this
  • It is important to note that many people do not meet cultural or local norms or stereotypes related to the expression of gender identity and World Rugby  will remind those raising concerns that they ought to take care to consider this when raising any concerns about another
  • The concerned person will raise their concerns with their Union's Chief Medical Officer (CMO).
  • The Union's CMO will carefully consider the concerns raised, in the context of all of the known facts and if having done so, the CMO determines that the concerns are not frivolous or vexatious, the  CMO will contact the World Rugby CMO setting out the basis for the
  • The World Rugby CMO will contact the CMO of the Union of the player about whom the concerns have been
  • The World Rugby CMO and the relevant player's CMO will discuss the situation and agree on the most appropriate actions, based on the specific circumstances
  • In some circumstances, such appropriate actions may include an assessment which will involve a multi-disciplinary approach that includes genetic, endocrine and psychological input from a range of experts who specialize in the field of andrology. Further details of testing protocol are available here.
  • Having taken the above steps, the World Rugby CMO will make a determination as to whether the player can participate in their selected category, if in the CMO's view, the player complies with this
  • In the event that the player or Union does not agree with a decision of World Rugby's CMO, they may appeal such decision to the World Rugby Expert Group in accordance with the "Appeals" process set out

Provisions applicable to all transgender players

  • No player should or would be forced to undergo  any medical or other  It is a player's responsibility to decide on whether he or she wishes to proceed with any assessment. However, it should be noted that deciding not to participate in an assessment, having been requested to do so, may have consequences in terms of the player's eligibility to participate in the category of competition that is consistent with his/her/their gender identity, since it may not be possible to determine whether issues of safety or fairness arise without such assessment.
  • The following are not required or relevant in order for a transgender player to compete in the category of competition at a World Rugby Tournament that is consistent with his/her gender identity:
    • legal recognition of the Player's gender identity as the Player's sex; or
    • surgical anatomical
  • For the avoidance of doubt, the eligibility conditions for transgender players set out in this Guideline operate without prejudice to all other eligibility requirements that are applicable to all players (transgender or otherwise) under the World Rugby Regulations Relating to the Game which must also be satisfied at all relevant
  • Nothing in this Guideline is intended to undermine or affect in any way any of the requirements of the World Rugby Regulations Relating to the Game, the World Anti-Doping Code, the WADA International Standards (including the International Standard for Therapeutic Use Exemptions), or World Rugby's anti-doping rules. Nothing in this Guideline will be deemed to permit, excuse or justify non-compliance with any of those requirements, including (without limitation) any requirement for an Player to obtain a Therapeutic Use Exemption for the use of a substance on the WADA Prohibited List, such as testosterone, spironolactone or GnRH agonist (See, e.g., the WADA Transgender Athlete TUE Physician Guideline, available at www.wada-ama.org.).

Appeals heard by the world rugby expert panel

  • Where the World Rugby CMO requires it, or where a player wishes to appeal the decision of the World Rugby CMO, the World Rugby Expert Group will be
  • The World Rugby Expert Group shall be comprised of a panel of independent experts from the following fields: scientific; medical; legal & risk; social &
  • In order to appeal a decision of the CMO, the  player must send a Notice of Appeal to World Rugby's CMO within 7 days of receiving the
  • The Notice of Appeal must set out in writing the basis for the player's
  • Upon receipt of such Notice of Appeal, the World Rugby CMO shall convene the World Rugby Expert Group who shall consider the Player's Appeal as soon as is
  • The World Rugby Expert Group shall have the power to regulate their own
  • All decisions of the World Rugby Expert Group shall be final and
  • The Player is responsible for ensuring that the information provided is accurate and complete, and that nothing relevant to the Expert Panel's assessment of the case is The Player must also provide the appropriate consents and waivers (in a form satisfactory to the Chief Medical Officer) to enable her physician(s) to disclose to the Expert Panel any information that the Expert Panel deems necessary to its assessment.
  • If the Expert Panel has any concerns about the adequacy of the evidence provided by the Player on any particular point, it must give the Player a fair opportunity to try to address those concerns before it comes to its final
  • The Expert Panel will complete its assessment as soon as is reasonably practicable in all of the circumstances of the However, in no circumstance will World Rugby or any member of the Expert Panel be liable for any detriment allegedly suffered by the Player or anyone else as a result of the length of time taken by the Expert Panel to complete its assessment.
  • Once it has completed its assessment, the Expert Panel will send its decision in writing to the World Rugby CMO and the relevant Union
  • The Expert Panel's decision will be final and binding on all

Disciplinary proceedings

  • Where a Player competes in a World Rugby Tournament in a category of competition  for  which he/she has not  satisfied the  eligibility conditions set out  in this Guideline, World Rugby may take disciplinary action against  such person/entity in accordance with World Rugby Regulation 18 pursuant to which the various sanctions set out in World Rugby Regulation 18 may be
  • In such disciplinary proceedings, a player may not challenge the validity of this Guideline nor may they challenge any decision made under this

Dispute Resolution

  • Decisions by the Expert Panel may be appealed to a World Rugby Appeal Committee in accordance with the provisions of World Rugby Regulation

Confidentiality

  • All cases arising under this Guideline, and in particular all Player information provided to World Rugby under this Guideline, and all results of examinations and assessments conducted under  this Guideline,  will be dealt with in strict confidence at all times. All medical information and data relating to a player will be treated as sensitive personal information and the CMO and Expert Panel will ensure at all times that it is processed as such in accordance  with applicable data protection  and privacy Such information  will not be used for  any  purpose not  contemplated in this Guideline, and will not be disclosed to any third party save (a) as is strictly necessary for  the  effective application and enforcement  of this Guideline; or (b) as is required by law.
  • World Rugby will not comment publicly on the specific facts of a pending case (as opposed to general descriptions of the process and science involved) except in response to public comments attributed to the Player or the Player's
  • Each member of the Expert Panel must sign an appropriate conflict of interest declaration and confidentiality undertaking in relation to  his/her  work as a member of the panel if requested to do

Costs

  • The costs of any assessment, examination, monitoring, reporting, and any other costs involved in complying with the Guideline will be borne by the relevant Player. The standing costs of the Expert Panel will be borne by World

Recognition of other eligibility decisions

  • Noting the specific requirements of each individual sport, it may not be appropriate for World Rugby to recognise and give effect to an eligibility decision of the international federation of another sport with respect to a specific player. The Guideline applies to all players regardless of any decision or finding as to the player's gender made by any other sporting, public or private

Limitation of liability

  • In no circumstances will World Rugby, any member of the Expert Panel, or any of World Rugby's (or any company associated with World Rugby) employees, officers, agents, representatives and other persons involved in the administration of this Guideline be liable in any way in relation to acts done or omitted to be done in good faith in connection with the administration of this

Queries

  • In the case of general queries regarding this Transgender Guideline, please contact: Head of Technical Services, World Rugby, World Rugby House, 8-10 Pembroke Street Lower, Dublin 2
  • In the case of confidential queries regarding cases affected by this Transgender Guideline, please contact: Chief Medical Officer, World Rugby, World Rugby House, 8-10 Pembroke Street Lower, Dublin