Tennis Australia CEO 'Supportive of Transgender Inclusion' in WTA Competitions

Tennis Australia CEO 'Supportive of Transgender Inclusion' in WTA Competitions

Craig Tiley, Tennis Australia's CEO and Australian Open tournament director has called for inclusive approaches for transgender athletes in WTA competitions.

The topic of transgender participants in elite-level female sports has been an ongoing and controversial issue among event organisers and athletes. In response to the continuous debates about how best to integrate transgender competitors into tennis and other sports, Tennis Australia has asked for inclusive rules to be considered.

As the head of Tennis Australia, Tiley explained that the organisation has been in discussions with the International Tennis Federation (ITF) and the WTA about the eligibility of transgender players. When speaking to the Sunday Morning Herald, Tiley said Tennis Australia's stance is to remain inclusive and fair in any developments.

"We're trying to influence the decision now. We are an organisation that believes in absolutely in inclusivity, in diversity, in equality - so any decision made will need to be aligned with our core values, To be able to influence those decisions as best as we can internationally, so they are aligned with our values, is really important."

Tiley told the Sunday Morning Herald

Even though there are no known current WTA players who identify as transgender, the topic is being considered in the context of transgender athletes participating in other sports. In 2018, the ITF updated its criteria for competing transgender platers to maintain testosterone levels below five nanomoles per litre for at least a year.

While Tiley outlined his respect for the ITF's rulings and decisions on the subject, he also said Tennis Australia remains committed to providing an inclusive sport for all players, regardless of gender.

"When it comes to the professional tennis, we've got to be responsive to the international tennis federations. They set the guidelines and the policy on it. But you know, as a sport, we've made our position pretty clear ... and we are supportive [of transgender inclusion],"

"Tennis has had to grapple with the decisions on this for quite a while."


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