Trans runner CeCe Telfer called out for ‘cheating’ by former Olympian after competing against women

Apr 1, 2024 | Political News

British Olympian Sharron Davies spoke out over the weekend against the inclusion of trans-identifying male athlete Cece Telfer’s inclusion in a February women’s track competition after a photo went viral.

Davies responded to a photo of Tefler standing at the start line of the Women’s 60m hurdles event at Boston University’s David Hemery Valentine Invitational in February, with Tefler towering over female opponents.

“Spot the male athlete in the women’s race! It’s simply Cheating,” Davies wrote.

The Independent Council on Women’s Sports (ICONS) wrote that Tefler qualified for the finals, running as an “unattached” athlete, and then “disqualified himself during the race.”

Davies, who won a silver medal in the 1980 400m medley swimming event at the Moscow Olympics and has competed in or attended 12 Olympics, has been a vocal advocate against allowing biological males in women’s sports, according to the Daily Mail.

Tefler, who previously competed as a male at Franklin Pierce University, became the first openly transgender athlete to win an NCAA title back in 2019. Tefler had hopes of competing at the Olympic level, but a rule change by World Athletics has put that idea to a halt.

On March 31, 2023, World Athletics, the international governing body for track and field, voted to ban biological males from competing in women’s events on the international stage.

The governing body said the decision was made to “prioritise fairness and the integrity of the female competition before inclusion,” with the new rules stating that transgender athletes can only compete in the women’s division if they “did not experience any part of male puberty beyond Tanner Stage 2 or before age 12, whichever is later.”

Tefler said in an interview at the time that the regulation change was “devastating.”

“I’m still going to keep pursuing my dreams and keep competing and keep running as much as I can, wherever I can, however I can,” Tefler said, adding “To throw that all away – my life of training will be for nothing. I’m going to keep doing what I have to do and show my people and society moving forward that I’m never going to give up.”

Tefler has also insisted that an athlete being a biological male does not provide an advantage against female runners.

“If anything, me competing against cis gender females is a disadvantage, because my body is going through so many medical implications,” Tefler said in an interview.

“It’s going through biochemistry changes. … Being on hormone replacement therapy … your muscle is deteriorating, you lose a lot of strength because testosterone is where you get your strength, your agility.” Telfer is voluntarily undergoing this course of treatment not for a medical condition but to better appear as the opposite sex.