NCAA supports transgender athletes, says championships to be held at discrimination-free sites

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FILE – In this March 18, 2015, file photo, the NCAA logo is displayed at center court as work continues at The Consol Energy Center in Pittsburgh, for the NCAA college basketball tournament. The NCAA took a significant step toward allowing all Division I athletes to transfer one time without sitting out a season of competition. A plan to change the waiver process is expected to be presented to the Division I Council in April, 2020. If adopted, new criteria would go into effect for the 2020-21 academic year and be a boon for athletes in high-profile sports such as football and men’s and women’s basketball. (AP Photo/Keith Srakocic, File)

(KXAN) — The NCAA Board of Governors released a statement in support of transgender athletes participating in college sports, saying “inclusion and fairness can coexist for all student-athletes.”

The NCAA says it has a long-standing policy for transgender inclusion.

The NCAA’s policies are in step with the International Olympic Committee and the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Committee, which “requires testosterone suppression treatment for transgender women to compete in women’s sports.”

“We are committed to ensuring that NCAA championships are open for all who earn the right to compete in them,” the NCAA said in its statement. “When determining where championships are held, NCAA policy directs that only locations where hosts can commit to providing an environment that is safe, healthy and free of discrimination should be selected.”

The NCAA says it is monitoring the situation for future NCAA championships to determine if they can be conducted in “welcoming and respectful” ways for all athletes.

Later this week, the NCAA is reportedly expected to remove the recruiting dead period that prohibited college athletes from official on-campus visits. The freeze, which has been in effect since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, could be lifted in June.

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