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International sports federations serve as a non-governmental governing body for a given sport and administer its sport at a world level, most often crafting rules and organizing world or continental championships. They oversee the National Governing Bodies in different countries.

International sports federations are an important part of the Olympic and Paralympic movements. Each Olympic sport is represented by its respective international sports federation. In order for a sport to become an Olympic or Paralympic sport, its international sports federation must be recognized by the International Olympic Committee or International Paralympic Committee, respectively.

Click HERE for US National Governing Bodies policies

International Olympic Committee

International Olympic Committee (IOC) Framework on Fairness, Inclusion,  and Non-Discrimination on the Basis of Gender Identity and Sex Variations was released November 16, 2021. The Framework provides 10 guiding principles and puts the responsibility on the International Federations and National Governing Bodies to create inclusive environments. The update also removes mention of testosterone and medical intervention and underscores that no athlete has an inherent advantage.


DOWNLOAD: IOC Consensus Framework on Fairness, Inclusion, and Non-Discrimination


Association of Summer Olympic International Federations (ASOIF)

The following organizations are recognized by the Association of Summer Olympic International Federations (ASOIF):

Aquatics - FINA (Fédération internationale de natation)

FINA adopted a policy at the FINA Extraordinary General Congress 2022 (June 2022) that restricts the participation of transgender athletes and athletes with intersex variations. Transgender women are only eligible if "they have not experienced any part of male puberty beyond Tanner Stage 2 or before age 12," and must provide evidence of consistent levels of 2.5 nmol/L of testosterone or lower since age 12.

DOWNLOAD: FINA 2022 Policy

Archery - World Archery Federation (WA)

World Archery Federation Executive Board meeting in December 2022 formalized a policy that requires 2.5 nmol/L of testosterone for 2 years. The policy went into effect April 2023 (actual policy document is unavailable online and has been requested, but details are in the board meeting summary here

Athletics - World Athletics (formerly International Association of Athletics Federations; IAAF)

World Athletics announced on 3/23/23 that "the Council has agreed to exclude male-to-female transgender athletes who have been through male puberty from female World Rankings competition" effective March 31, 2023. Transgender women who make a medical transition before the age of 12 will be eligible if they maintain under 2.5 nmol/L of testosterone. Transgender men must declare their gender but can compete with men without restriction. For intersex athletes and athletes with differences of sexual development (DSD), new regulations will require athletes to reduce their testosterone levels below a limit of 2.5 nmol/L for a minimum of 24 months to compete internationally in the female category in any event, not just the events that were restricted (400m to one mile) under the previous regulations.

DOWNLOAD: World Athletics policy 2023

Badminton - Badminton World Federation (BWF)

No known policy.

Basketball - FIBA

No known policy.

Boxing (amateur) - International Boxing Association (formerly Association Internationale de Boxe Amateur; AIBA)

No known policy.


Canoeing - International Canoe Federation (ICF)

No known policy.

Cycling - Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) (or International Cycling Union, ICU)

Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) changed its policy in June 2022. The transition period on low testosterone has been extended to 24 months from the previous 12-month period, and the UCI has halved the maximum permitted plasma testosterone level from 5 nmol/L to 2.5 nmol/L.

LINK: Press release

DanceSport - World DanceSport Federation (WDSF)

No known policy.

Equestrian - International Federation for Equestrian Sports (Fédération Équestre Internationale, FEI)

No known policy.

Fencing - Fédération Internationale d'Escrime (FIE)

No known policy.

Football/Soccer - FIFA (Fédération Internationale de Football Association)

No known policy.

Golf - International Golf Federation (IGF)

No known policy.

Gymnastics - Fédération Internationale de Gymnastique (FIG) (International Gymnastics Federation, IFG)

No known policy.

Handball - International Handball Federation (IHF)

No known policy.

Field hockey - Fédération Internationale de Hockey (FIH) (International Hockey Federation)

No known policy.

Judo - International Judo Federation (IJF)

No known policy.

Modern pentathlon - Union Internationale de Pentathlon Moderne (UIPM)

No known policy.

Rowing - World Rowing (previously known as FISA or International Rowing Federation)

World Rowing has a binary gender set up for men's and women's events, but in the case of transgender athletes and athletes with hyperandrogenism, World Rowing has a document for the guidance of participation.

DOWNLOAD: World Rowing Appendix R1 - gender verification

Rugby - World Rugby (WR)

World Rugby issued an outright ban on transgender women and girls in elite rugby in October 2020. Transgender women may not participate in elite and international women’s rugby. Trans men are allowed to compete with men provided "confirmation of physical ability."

DOWNLOAD: World Rugby policy for transgender athletes (Oct 2020)

Sailing - World Sailing

No known policy.

Shooting sports - International Shooting Sport Federation (ISSF)

International Shooting Sport Federation (ISSF) follows the former IOC 2015 policy for transgender athletes. (NOTE: this policy was made was prior to the IOC update in 2021, so a new policy may be pending)  

"4.1 Eligibility of Athletes
4.1.8 Where the eligibility of a female athlete is questioned due to possible hyperandrogenism, and a formal written request has been made to do so, an Expert Panel comprised of members of the ISSF Medical Committee and other experts shall be appointed to evaluate a suspected case of female hyperandrogenism. In so doing, the ISSF Medical Committee shall generally and substantially follow the IOC criteria and/or IOC Rules which deal with possible hyperandrogenism and are in effect at the time of the request.
4.1.9 Any athlete who undergoes sexual reassignment surgery after puberty and wishes to participate in an ISSF Championship must meet the specific conditions and criteria established by the IOC in order to do so. The request to participate in ISSF Championships after sexual reassignment surgery must be made by the athlete to the ISSF Medical Committee prior to competing and the ISSF Medical Committee and other experts shall determine whether or not the IOC criteria has been met.

4.1.10 Any determination made under article 4.1.7 or article 4.1.8 may be appealed exclusively to the International Court of Arbitration for Sport."

LINK: ISSF 2017 policy

Table tennis - International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF)

No known policy.

Taekwondo - World Taekwondo (WT)

No known policy.

Tennis - International Tennis Federation (ITF)

International Tennis Federation (ITF) updated its policy in November 2018 to mirror World Athletics, requiring a trans woman to have "less than 5 nmol/L for at least 12 months (with the requirement for any longer period to be based on a confidential case-by-case evaluation, considering whether or not 12 months is a sufficient length of time to minimise (sic) any advantage in female competition), and that she is ready, willing and able to continue to keep it below that level for so long as she continues to compete in the female category of competition."


DOWNLOAD: International Tennis Federation Transgender Policy Nov. 2018

Triathlon - World Triathlon

World Triathlon announced a policy on August 3, 2022, which will take effect 30 days from the announcement. The details of the policy will be released then, but a few points were mentioned in the press release: 

“To compete in the female category in an Elite or Age-Group triathlon competition, a Transgender athlete must demonstrate that the concentration of testosterone in the athlete’s serum has been less than 2.5 nmol/L continuously for a period of at least 24 months. Also, at least 48 months must have elapsed since the Transgender athlete has competed as a male in any sporting competition”.

LINK: World Triathlon Press Release (August 2022)

Volleyball and beach volleyball - Fédération Internationale de Volleyball (FIVB)

No known policy.

Weightlifting - International Weightlifting Federation (IWF)

No known policy.

Wrestling - United World Wrestling (UWW)

No known policy.

Non-Olympic International Federations/Organizations

The following organizations are Non-Olympic International Federations:


Beginning in 2019, CrossFit allows transgender athletes to compete in its annual tournament, the CrossFit Games in a reversal of a policy that had subjected the global fitness brand to criticism from the LGBT community.

In the 2018 CrossFit Games, athletes were forced to compete in the category of their sex assigned at birth.​


LINK: CrossFit Games will allow transgender athletes to compete

Flying Disc - World Flying Disc Federation

The World Flying Disc Federation (WFDF), is the international governing body of flying disc. In December 2016, it released its policy on the inclusion of transgender athletes, which is in line with the IOC standards. 


DOWNLOAD: The WFDF Policy on Transgender Athlete Participation

Quidditch - International Quidditch Association

International Quidditch Association (IQA) promotes gender inclusion by allowing people to self-identify. During a quidditch game, each team must have at least two players in play who identify with a different gender than at least two other players. The gender that a player identifies with is considered to be that player's gender (Rulebook 7 Section 7.1.3.).


LINK: International Quidditch Association's policy and "Two Minimum Rule"

Rugby - International Rugby League (IRL)

International Rugby League announced in June 2022 "until further research is completed to enable the IRL to implement a formal transgender inclusion policy, male-to-female (transwomen) players are unable to play in sanctioned women’s international rugby league matches."

Volleyball - Fédération Internationale de Volleyball

Fédération Internationale de Volleyball (FIVB) is the governing body responsible for all forms of Volleyball on a global level. The policy listed for Gender states: "Gender must be attested by the national federations through the birth certificate of the player. Female players may be required to present a valid gender certificate and/or submit themselves to a medical examination in case of doubt based on medical evidence."


Additionally, there is a Gender Verification policy: "Gender Verification will not be performed during senior, junior or youth events. Gender verification may be conducted on a case by case basis in event of doubt based on medical evidence. Competitors’ refusal if requested to yield to gender verification controls entails their elimination from the competition."


DOWNLOAD: FIVB Gender requirements (6.2 and 6.3)

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