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Cyclist Calls Loss to Transgender Rival 'Not Fair'

Canadian competitor Rachel McKinnon became the first trans woman world champion
By Josh Gardner,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 21, 2018 2:15 PM CDT
Athletes race during the women's points race at the World Championships Track Cycling in March.   (AP Photo/Peter Dejong)

(Newser) – An American woman has cried foul after losing out in the Masters Track Cycling World Championships to a transgender rival from Canada. The controversy began after Rachel McKinnon won gold this month, edging out competitors including bronze finisher Jennifer Wagner. When a conservative media UK media personality expressed outrage over the win on Twitter, Wagner chimed in to agree. "I was the 3rd place rider. It’s definitely NOT fair," Wagner wrote. What followed was a bitter and public row that also roped in second place finisher and McKinnon supporter Carolien van Herrikhuyzen of the Netherlands, Fox News reports. “No one is a transgender to steal anyone’s medal,” van Herrikhuyzen wrote. “We had an honest race under UCI rules. If you compete you accept the rules, otherwise, don’t compete."

Wagner wasn't done. “Just because it’s a CURRENT UCI rule doesn’t mean it fair or right," she wrote. "And rules can be changed.” As days passed, however, and the controversy grew, Wagner backed away from her tweet. "After having some time to reflect, I realize my twitter comments earlier this week unintentionally fanned the flames on a controversial situation, and that I regret," she wrote, per Yahoo News. Wagner, who identifies on her Twitter account as a "hand surgeon," also asked fans and followers to stop directing transphobic comments toward McKinnon. Meanwhile, McKinnon has said she's not accepting the apology, citing another tweet in which Wagner told followers that she and a group of like-minded cyclists are fighting to get the officials rules changed to exclude athletes like McKinnon. (Read more transgender stories.)

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