A male-to-female transgender powerlifter who won multiple record-breaking world championships in the women’s division has been stripped of her titles after authorities ruled she was biologically male while competing.
The RAW Powerlifting Federation announced on May 3 that it had revoked the titles won by Mary Gregory in the women’s squat, bench press and deadlift categories, as well as the “Masters total world record” she had earned for for her overall weightlifting scores at the 100% Raw Competition on April 27
Gregory’s landslide victories — which included multiple world records she’d set for her age (43 at the time) and weight categories — prompted automatic drug testing, per Raw Powerlifing Federation’s post-competition protocol, said a statement released by the organization.
“The lifter exceeded the current female world records in this lifter’s age and weight category. This automatically calls for drug testing protocol which takes place at the end of every event. The drug testing coordinator for this event performed the drug test at which time it was revealed that this female lifter was actually a male in the process of becoming a transgender female,”
“Our rules, and the basis of separating genders for competition, are based on physiological classification rather than identification. On the basis of all information presented to the Board of Directors for this particular case, the conclusion made, is that the correct physiological classification is male.”
The day after the competition, Gregory celebrated her victories on Instagram.
“What a day, 9 for 9! Masters world squat record, open world bench record, masters world dl record, and masters world total record!” she said. “[W]e did it!!!”
Her posts prompted a public backlash and — combined with the gender reveal from her drug-testing results — an internal investigation.
The US powerlifting governing body annulled Gregory’s records admitting that the athlete should not have competed against women.
“Since the lifter’s gender classification for the purpose of our rules is not consistent with female, no female records will be broken by these lifts,”
Gregory had been taking estrogen and testosterone blockers for 11 months before competing for the world title, but has not transitioned genders surgically.
She has attempted to discredit the opinions of her critics by claiming that her weightlifting performance has suffered since she began transitioning. She said on Instagram that before she started hormone replacement therapy, she could lift 408 pounds in the squat, 298 in the bench press and 507 in the deadlift.
But since she’s been taking hormones, she says those numbers have dropped to 314, 233 and 424 pounds, respectively.
“I feel like I’m being tarred and feathered as this person who got in there, competing against 50 women, and just stomping all over them, and won by some magnificent total,” Gregory told Outsports. “Not to denigrate my own accomplishments or achievements — I’m so very proud of them — but the numbers that I lifted aren’t class-leading.”
Gregory said she’ll continue to pursue powerlifting despite the bans she encounters and all negative attention she’s receiving
“One reason why I decided to continue lifting is because I wanted to give the middle finger to that stigma that you can’t be a strong, muscular female,” she said. “I feel being strong and having muscles actually makes me feel sexy, and makes me feel more comfortable in my own skin.”
View this post on Instagram
Yay, it's Friday!!! I didn't pass out today!!! And I misloaded the bar, lol. – Was actually very anxious going into these pulls. Despite my attempts to blow it off passing out at 55lbs below your PR pull is NOT cool! I actually released my valsava at the top today and viola, no passing out! Took a quick breath and reset as tight as could for the trip down. Will have to work on this next training block, imo releasing tension/ valsava mid rep isn't not optimal but it worked! – The cherry on top is I meant to load 177.5kg and actually loaded 182ish! My confidence really needed this today! @savvysavit @richmondbalance804 #transrightsarehumanrights🌈#sharetheplatform#powerliftingwomen#sumoischeating#exodusstrength#upliftandliftheavy