Players Association and coach hit out at AFL's transgender decision

Hannah Mouncey. Pic Twitter

Mouncey has been ruled ineligible for Wednesday's AFLW draft but will continue playing for Ainslie in the AFL Canberra women's competition.

At 190cm and 100kg, Mouncey was deemed to have an unreasonable advantage due to her physical disparity with other players.

Mouncey has represented Australia, as a male, in European handball but transitioned to become a woman over the past two years.

Fairfax is reporting the decision is based on the Victorian Equal Opportunity Act, which allows for discrimination based on sex or gender in cases where strength or physique are relevant.

The decision-making process included much consultation with a number of figures, including Hannah Mouncey, her management, the AFL Players' Association, the Australian Sports Commission and Pride in Sport.

"This decision exclusively relates to Ms Mouncey's nomination for the 2018 AFLW draft and participation in the 2018 AFLW competition".

Tanya Hosch, who is in charge of the AFL's inclusion and social policy, made a statement in regards to the decision, and how it would affect the future of the AFLW.

The AFL's decision to bar transgender footballer Hannah Mouncey from today's AFL Women's draft smacks of policy on the run.

"If she is allowed to play women's footy up here, I don't see her not being allowed to play in a better competition".

Chris Rourke, who coaches Mouncey at Canberra's Ainslie Tricolours, questioned if anyone from the AFL had actually taken the time to watch her in action.

A subcommittee comprising AFL commissioners Jason Ball, Gabrielle Trainor and Major-General Simone Wilkie, as well as Hosch and Andrew Dillon, reviewed Mouncey's nomination.

The AFL added that their decision only applied to the draft and the 2018 competition, and was not permanent.

Although Mouncey's hormone levels would see her eligible to compete at the Olympics under IOC regulations, the AFL placed more significance on Victorian law because of the physical nature of the sport.

Mouncey herself issued a response on social media following the decision, expressing her disappointment but thanking the AFL for their genuine approach.

"[Mouncey] has contributed to a process which will substantially inform the development of the AFL's transgender policy and procedure for future players at the elite level", she said.

'No athlete should face such confusion around their eligibility for an elite competition just days out from a draft.

The AFL follows International Olympic Committee regulations which state an athlete must prove their testosterone level is below 10 nanomoles per litre - Mouncey's latest reading was 0.5 nanomoles per litre.

It is a freaky situation when a player is ruled illegible to play in a competition with the elite women players - those who are the fittest, strongest and most skilful in the country - and yet she can play with women in a competition whose skills and strength are at a far lower standard. However, I remain hopeful we will see her in the AFLW following a second successful season in Canberra AFL next year.

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