While You Were Asleep: Rugby league bans transgender players from women’s internationals, Nadal and Djokovic spotted training at Wimbledon, and Giggs steps down as Wales coach


Two days after FINA effectively banned transgender women from competing in women’s events, the IRL said on Tuesday it was continuing to review and update rules about transgender participation in women’s international tournaments.

Shared News: June 21, 2022 9:40:59 am
(L-R) Rugby League has taken the call after FINA bars transgender players, Djokovic during Wimbledon training and Wales coach Ryan Giggs (Twitter).

The International Rugby League (IRL) on Tuesday announced that it has banned transgender players from women’s international competition until further notice. The decision comes following the global swimming’s call to restrict trans athletes’ participation at the elite level.

The IRL further added that it needed to consult before finalising its transgender policy.

“Until further research is completed to enable the IRL to implement a formal transgender inclusion policy, male-to-female (trans women) players are unable to play in sanctioned women’s international rugby league matches,” the league said.

“It is the IRL’s responsibility to balance the individual’s right to participate….against perceived risk to other participants, and to ensure all are given a fair hearing.”

Earlier on Sunday, swimming’s world governing body FINA had voted to restrict transgender athletes in elite women’s competitions and create a working group to establish an ‘open’ category for them in some events as part of its new policy.

The call has led to other sports reviewing their policies on transgender athletes, including soccer and athletics.

Nadal and Djokovic spotted training at Wimbledon

Just a week before the grass court grand slam begins, two of its leading cast were seen training for the same. Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic have started their final preparations ahead of Wimbledon 2022.

Nadal, who is fresh of off winning his 14th French Open title reached London on Monday and straight away began training for the third major of the year. The 36-year old has won the Wimbledon title twice had expressed his desire to compete at the All England Club last week in Mallorca.

“I’m happy. I haven’t limped for a week and the evolution of training is progressing,” said Nadal last Friday.

“From day to day the pain has been different and that’s progress. I have to wait a little. My intention is to try and play Wimbledon and this week has told me there is a chance.”

Djokovic, who defeated Matteo Berrettini to win the title last year also began his training on Monday. The Serbian, who has won the men’s singles Wimbledon title six times, is currently on a 21-match winning streak at the grass court, having won six of his seven finals.

Giggs steps down as Wales head coach

Ryan Giggs

Ryan Giggs. (Reuters/File)

Former Wales and Manchester United player, Ryan Giggs on Monday evening announced that he has stepped down from his role of head coach of the Wales men’s national team.

The 48-year old, who has been charged with domestic violence, said he didn’t want to “destabilise or jeopardise” Wales’ World Cup campaign over his trial which is scheduled to begin in August in Manchester.

The former Manchester United winger has been accused of controlling and coercive behavior and causing bodily harm to his former girlfriend Kate Greville between August 2017 and November 2020, and her younger sister, Emma Greville, at his home in Greater Manchester, in November 2020.

Giggs has denied all the charges against him and pleaded not guilty to all of them.