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NCAA updates transgender athlete policy amid controversy surrounding Idaho's law

"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."

BOISE, Idaho — The National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Board of Governors released a statement regarding transgender participation in sports events, stating that championships can only be held at locations "free of discrimination."

The statement reads in part:

The NCAA Board of Governors firmly and unequivocally supports the opportunity for transgender student-athletes to compete in college sports. This commitment is grounded in our values of inclusion and fair competition.

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. 

We will continue to closely monitor these situations to determine whether NCAA championships can be conducted in ways that are welcoming and respectful of all participants. 

The statement comes as Idaho's controversial Fairness in Women's Sports Act, which bans transgender women from competing on women's sports teams, is still tied up in the courts after being signed into law last year.

While it is unknown if Idaho will be able to ban transgender athletes from playing on a sports team at any level, the NCAA has a long-standing policy that provides a more inclusive path for transgender participation in sports.

Under NCAA policy, transgender women athletes are required to undergo testosterone suppression treatment in order to compete in women's sports. The NCAA embraces the evolving science regarding the treatment's effectiveness.

This policy is anchored in policies used by the International Olympic Committee and the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Committee. 

NCAA believes inclusion and fairness can co-exist for all student-athletes at all levels and will ensure their championships will be open for all who earn the right to compete in them.

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