Professor Yannis Pitsiladis and colleagues are conducting a study of more than 40 individuals going through transition, with the aim of determining the fairest way of integrating transgender athletes into elite sport.
Testosterone increases muscle mass and under International Olympic Committee (IOC) guidelines athletes who have transitioned from male to female are required to keep their levels of testosterone under 10 nanomoles per litre.
Some top athletes are questioning the current limit. Paula Radcliffe, Dame Kelly Holmes and Sharron Davies, are campaigning for the IOC to provide more data on the “residual benefits” of being a transgender athlete and whether the testosterone level is appropriate.
Professor Pitsiladis, the university’s Professor of Sport and Exercise Science who specialises in molecular biology, physiology and bioinformatics currently is working with the IOC before it publishes updated transgender guidelines.