USA Powerlifting is an inclusive organization for all athletes and members who comply with its rules, policies, procedures, and bylaws. USA Powerlifting is not a fit for every athlete and for every medical condition or situation. Simply, not all powerlifters are eligible to compete in USA Powerlifting.
The second area involves the participation of male to female competitors. Through analysis the impact of maturation in the presence naturally occurring androgens as the level necessary for male development, significant advantages are had, including but not limited to increased body and muscle mass, bone density, bone structure, and connective tissue. These advantages are not eliminated by reduction of serum androgens such as testosterone yielding a potential advantage in strength sports such as powerlifting.
Q – Why do you not allow transgender women?
A – The IOC sports are a wide in spectrum. Take sports such as curling, equestrian, shooting and archery, these sports are more sport of skill, whereas powerlifting is a sport of strength. Men naturally have a larger bone structure, higher bone density, stronger connective tissue and higher muscle density than women. These traits, even with reduced levels of testosterone do not go away. While MTF may be weaker and less muscle than they once were, the biological benefits given them at birth still remain over than of a female.
Q – Why do you not allow transgender men?
A – We do allow transgender men. What is prohibited in USA Powerlifting is the use of external androgens in this organization. This is the same rule that applies to all members. We have many older male lifters for example who require through their doctor to take hormone therapy(HRT). We respect their need to follow their doctors advice, but with that said, they are no longer eligible to be compete within USA Powerlifting.
Q – Why don’t you just have another division for transgender athletes to compete in?
A – This option, interestingly has been implemented within the LGBT Powerlifting Union. While their organization does not follow the drug testing policy for USA Powerlifting, it appears to be a viable option for them and will be included in the 2020 Gay Games.