PARIS: The governing body of cycling (UCI) has agreed to “re-open consultation” around transgender women competing in elite female events. The decision was prompted by American Austin Killips becoming the first transgender rider to win a UCI women’s stage race. She crossed the line first at the Tour of the Gila in New Mexico last Sunday. In a statement on Thursday, the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) said that it was “reopening consultation with the athletes and national federations, and therefore agreed to debate and take an eventual decision at its next meeting, in Glasgow in August”. “The UCI’s objective remains the same: to take into consideration… the desire of transgender athletes to practice cycling. “The UCI also hears the voices of female athletes and their concerns about an equal playing field for competitors, and will take into account all elements, including the evolution of scientific knowledge.” Thursday’s announcement is in contrast to the stand it had taken on Wednesday when the UCI defended its current regulations and recognised that transgender athletes may choose to compete in accordance with their gender identity. Unlike some international sporting bodies such as World Athletics, the UCI allows transgender riders to compete in women’s races, prompting criticism from the likes of American former Olympian Inga Thompson who said the decision was “effectively killing off women’s cycling”. The UCI toughened its rules for transgender women to compete in its events last year, halving the maximum permitted plasma testosterone level to 2.5 nanomoles per litre and doubling the transition period to 24 months.