British darts player Deta Hedman explains why she declined to play against transgender opponent 

Francis Akhalbey May 07, 2024
Deta Hedman declined to play against her transgender opponent -- Photo Credit: Darts Planet TV

British female darts player Deta Hedman withdrew from the Denmark Open over the weekend after opting not to play against a transgender opponent. Per Fox News, Hedman and transgender opponent Noa-Lynn van Leuven were initially billed to face each other in the competition’s quarterfinals. 

But Hedman sat the match out and opted to forfeit it. Hedman subsequently took to X (formerly Twitter) to address reports that an illness caused her to sit the match out. “No fake illness I said I wouldn’t play a man in a ladies event,” she shared.

“This subject causing much angst in the sport I love . People can be whoever they want in life but I don’t think biological born men should compete in Women’s sport.”

Van Leuven and Beau Graves ultimately faced each other in the semifinal stage, with the former losing. In an interview with The Guardian last year, van Leuven said she started her transition when she was 16, adding that she came under scrutiny when she began playing competitive darts.

“I was getting more and more unhappy with myself, to a point that I didn’t want to live any more,” van Leuven said. “And that was the moment where I thought: I can go two sides now. I can end it, or I can live as who I want to live.”

The chief executive of the Professional Darts Corporation (PDC), Matt Porter, also told the news outlet that the organization has a transgender participation policy that van Leuven adheres to. The International Olympic Committee reportedly oversees the Darts Regulation Authority’s policy which the PDC also complies with.

Under the IOC’s policy, the testosterone level for transgender female competitors should be under 10 nanomoles per liter for at least 12 months, Fox News reported. The sports organization also stipulates that there should be no gender identity change for at least four years.

Last Edited by:Mildred Europa Taylor Updated: May 7, 2024


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