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2024 Paris Olympics: Understanding IOC framework on transgender athlete participation

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The participation of transgender athletes in women’s sports has been a hotly debated topic that gained significant attention in the media in 2021 following the emergence of former University of Pennsylvania swimmer Lia Thomas, a transgender woman.

The discussion has since prompted several sports governing bodies to re-examine their existing policies and, in some notable cases, make sweeping changes.

The Olympic logo is reflected in the windows of the headquarters of the International Olympic Committee in Lausanne, Switzerland, on March 18, 2020. (Fabrice Coffrini/AFP via Getty Images)

Changes were initiated when, in November 2021, the International Olympic Committee released a revised policy recommendation in which individual sports bodies were asked to apply certain parameters with a particular focus on "foster[ing] gender equality and inclusion" when establishing their own policies.


As the 2024 Summer Games in Paris quickly approach, here’s a look at the IOC’s latest policy and the changes that followed. 

The IOC released the "Framework on Fairness, Inclusion and Non-Discrimination on the Basis of Gender Identity and Sex Variations," commonly referred to by the IOC as the "Framework," in November 2021 following a "two-year consultation process" that included insight from more than 250 athletes, human rights, legal and medical experts.

The Framework, consisting of a 10-principle approach, sought to lay out recommendations for each sport to consider when creating their own policy for eligibility requirements, instead of creating a blanket policy.

"In issuing this Framework, the