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Transgender hurdler who just won NCAA women's national championship: 'Me competing against cisgender females is a disadvantage'

You might recall CeCe Telfer of Franklin Pierce University — a college hurdler born male but now competing as a female — who last month won an NCAA women's national championship, taking the 400-meter hurdles by more than a second.

Telfer — formerly known as Craig — as recently as January 2018 ran with the Division II school's men's track & field team. Telfer started going by the name CeCe while competing with the men before transitioning to women's competition. Telfer is the New Hampshire school's first women's track & field champion.

Now what?

Telfer just told ESPN's "Outside the Lines" that "if anything, me competing against cisgender females is a disadvantage":

"My body is going through so many medical implications ... It's going through biochemistry changes. So, being on hormone replacement therapy [results in] muscle depletion ... your muscles are deteriorating. You lose a lot of strength because testosterone is where you get your strength, your agility. So I have to work twice as hard to keep that strength, and if I slack a day, that's like three days set behind. So ... I have to keep up all my workouts ... I can't drink ... I can't eat unhealthy, or else it's gonna impact me harder."
Here's the clip:



What's the background?

According to the website Turtleboy Sports, which researched some of Telfer's statistics as a male competitor, Telfer was an above-average male hurdler. But as women's hurdles are lower, Telfer soon dominated the competition and became the top women's competitor in the women's 55-meter hurdles and 55-meter sprint.

The NCAA has had a policy for transgender athletes for years. It is legal under NCAA bylaws for a biological male to compete in the women's division if that male has suppressed his testosterone levels for one year.

A guidance document on the issue published by the NCAA took the stance that it is not accurate to assume that a male who has transitioned to become a transgender female has an unfair advantage over a biological woman, saying "it is important not to overgeneralize."

Here's a clip of Telfer in action earlier this spring:




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