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Unfair Advantage

There is a lot of controversy surrounding women's sports today as transgender men are allowed to compete against women. In my younger days, I competed as woman in triathlons, semi-pro tennis, and competitive softball. Woman's sports were in their infancy and only high ranking women volleyball players and swimmers were awarded scholarships to compete at the university level. It was only a year later that softball players were given scholarships. Even women's basketball had not been organized or received the attention they receive today. I had boxes filled with trophies I'd won over the years and I felt pride at my accomplishments.

During the 1980's and 1990's there was a lot of controversy surrounding "doping" and the use of steroid drugs that gave an unfair advantage to those who used them because they"enhanced" strength and endurance. The current debate over transgender women and women's sports brought to mind my favorite triathlete story:

In an online article in, (January 15, 2013), "Lance Armstrong battled back from life-threatening cancer to become a cycling legend, winning seven Tour de France titles. However, allegations of performance-enhancing drug use followed him throughout his career, and in 2012, he was stripped of all seven of his Tour titles after the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency released evidence of use and distribution the substances."

When a generation never learned the concepts of fairness in competition and sportsmanship conduct because they were all given a trophy, the trophy lost value and so did the winner. I fear that women sports will have only two choices: Women don't complete against Transgender men, or they do knowing they will never win. The winners lose either way.


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