A London woman whose powerlifting career helped her achieve sobriety says she faces a two-year ban by the sport’s national sanctioning body after criticizing a record-breaking transgender athlete competing against her.
April Hutchinson, who last year told The Free Press her story of overcoming alcoholism through powerlifting, has stated on social media she’s being punished by the Canadian Powerlifting Union “for speaking up about males competing against females” – a topic that has riled other sports and turned the right-wing media’s spotlight on the Londoner.
“Power lifting is a pure strength sport,” Hutchinson told UK broadcaster Piers Morgan in an October interview. “(Biological) males have a 60-70 per cent advantage over females. It’s disheartening. I am the one being punished for speaking the truth.”
Hutchinson indicated in the interview there’s a specific opponent who has raised her concerns and she’s been warned not to refer to transgender women competitors as “biological males.”
Hutchinson, who has worked for the City of London, appears not to be shrinking away from the controversy. Like Riley Gaines, the NCAA swimmer who spoke out against transgender women competing against her and other biological women, Hutchinson is leaning into it – highlighting references to it on social media and selling hoodies bearing the logo: Keep Female Sports Female.
A letter posted to social media indicates Hutchinson is being represented by a London lawyer, Lisa Bildy. The letter, addressed to the BC-based Canadian Powerlifting Union, noted Hutchinson earlier this year began posting on social media her concerns about “the unrestricted participation of male-born athletes in the women’s category of competitive powerlifting.”
The lawyer’s letter accused the CPU of doing nothing “to meaningfully address the inherent unfairness of permitting any athlete who has gone through male development and puberty, and who simply identifies as a woman, to compete in women’s categories.”
The latter also adds Hutchinson “bears no ill will toward transgender people generally.”
Hutchinson could not be immediately reached for comment.
At a summertime meet in Manitoba, trans powerlifter Anne Andres shattered a national powerlifting record in a category for women between ages 40 and 50 who don’t use supportive equipment such as a squat suit. She broke the record for women’s deadlift, an event in which a barbell is hoisted from the ground to thigh-level.
Andres said on social media they transitioned 20 years ago and began in the sport seven years ago.
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