Canadian Cyclist Suspended For Unsportsmanlike Conduct

06 August 2006

Downhill mountain bike racer Danika Schroeter has been suspended for three months for wearing a T-shirt that mocked transgender cyclist Michelle Dumaresq.

In the downhill championship this week, Dumaresq won the women's race. Schroeter came in second. But during the podium ceremony, Schroeter wore a white T-shirt with black print that said "100 Per Cent Pure Woman Champ."

Athletes may not "in word, gesture, writing or otherwise harm the reputation or question the honour of other license holders, officials, sponsors, federations, the UCI or cycling in general," the association said in a release.

It seems clear that Schroeter broke the rules by mocking a fellow certified competitor, but the interesting question here is, "is it fair to allow male-to-female transgendered athletes to compete as women?" Weighing in at 6'1", 180lbs., Dumaresq seems to have reaped the advantages of being born with a larger frame than her "100% female" competitors.

If the spirit of these games is to test the natural abilities of its unaltered competitors, where they achieve their physical abilities through natural processes of hard work, exercise and determination, then I think that this decision goes against that sense of fairness. Either Dumaresq is on hormones, in which case her body is basically altered through a steady intake of drugs, or she is not on hormones, in which case she is running on mostly male hormones which give her an edge.

On the other hand, if the spirit of these games is to just have fun and compete in an all-inclusive hug-fest, then there's ultimately no problem here.


Anonymous said...

michelle is one of the most amazing people in this world. she's absolutely beautiful inside and out. she has courage and strength that most of us can only dream of. i'm only 5'7" and weigh 130 but i have raced people who weigh 40-50 lbs more and are about 2-3 inches taller on road and all terrain...i have never isn't the size that matters it is the way you handle your bike. just because i'm slim/slender doesn't mean that i don't have just as much strength as michelle. yes while i admit she is stronger as well as missy giove i can hold my own on a course...i use municipal hills, forest terrain, and steep graded hills...sometimes cement stairs if there are any nearby...anyhow michelle is my hero...

Anonymous said...

What is wrong with people today? Why would all these women complain about something so trivial? I was raised around girls that were raised on the farm and a lot of them are 6 feet or more and weigh more that 180. Would it be the same protest if they were to race profesionally? Grow up and may be increase your diet if you really want to compete. Boxers spar for hours to prepare, so women eat a sandwich and just enjoy the fact that you get to do what you love to do!!!!