trans athlete
© Eric Thayer / Reuters
A US senator in Ohio, where new bills are proposing to ban transgender athletes from competing in high school and college sports, has described the treatment of Olympic gold medalist Caitlyn Jenner as a product of cancel culture.

Senator Kristina Roegner said that her own three daughters, who are all junior athletes, had given her a keener appreciation of why parents would be concerned about their offspring competing against much larger transgender participants who had been born male.

Lawmakers have introduced the bills in the house and senate in the state, where supporters of the Save Women's Sports Act say they must be brought in to make sport fair.

"Senate Bill 132 is simply about maintaining safety and fairness for women's sports," Roegner told WKSU in a statement about the proposals, which echo many of the bills that have been proposed across the US with varying degrees of success over recent months.

"We need to ensure girls are included, engaged and encouraged to participate in programs reserved for them.

"Former Olympic gold medalist decathlete Bruce - now Caitlyn - Jenner recently agreed and was vilified by the constantly changing judgment of today's cancel culture."

Pressed for a brief comment by a reporter at the start of this month, socialite and celebrity Jenner, who is hoping to become California's next Governor, drew stinging criticism in some quarters by echoing fears over fairness.

"I stick with my statements that I made," she told Fox News more recently. "I think we have to make sure that the integrity of girls' sports is there - I think that's extremely important.

"But there's more to it than just what I said, because I just said 'biological boys in sports'. There's more to it than that, and I think in the future I will explain more of that."

Women's football icon Megan Rapinoe has been among those to criticize Jenner. "In California, [she] has thrown her name in there [for election]," said Rapinoe, who has called banning transgender college athletes "another avenue to attack the rights of trans people".

"It's like, 'you know what? You are an exceptional athlete. You're not an exceptional politician. I think that about myself: it takes a ton of talent and institutional knowledge."

Ohio High School Athletic Association spokesman Tim Stried said that banning transgender athletes would conflict with the regulatory measures already in place.

"All student athletes should have the opportunity to participate in junior high and high school sports, and that includes transgender student athletes," he said.

"The policy is set up to include medical science and a doctor and there are certainly steps that need to be taken to get approval.

"To date, we have not had any issues where a school or a family has come forward and said, 'my daughter was unfairly penalized or robbed of opportunities because of a transgender female.' That has not happened yet and we don't anticipate that happening."

Stried reportedly said that, since 2015, 48 transgender girls have applied to take part in female sports, 11 of whom were approved for competition.

"As a mother of three daughters who participate in athletics, I understand that parents don't want their 5ft 3in, 115lb daughter on the same soccer field as a 6ft 1in, 185lb boy," said Roegner.