A male powerlifter who identifies as a woman just set a new world record—in women’s powerlifting.
In the Canadian Powerlifting Union’s (CPU) championships from Aug. 10 to Aug. 17, Anne Andres lifted 597.5 kilograms or 1317 pounds, according to advanced results.
This weight was at least 440 pounds more than the top-performing woman, SuJan Gill, lifted.
Mr. Andres, a 40-year-old, gender transitioned at 20 years old, after going through male puberty, according to an Instagram post.
“[I] didn’t touch a barbell in my entire life until seven years ago,” he said in the post. “In theory, I will be representing Canada at IPF Masters Worlds in October 2024. Unless I get hurt, I will win by a good margin.”
Mr. Andres attributes his record-breaking lifts to a strong training ethic, not strong hormones. He has always had deficient testosterone, he said in another post.
“My test [testosterone] is lower than almost every human on this planet,” he said. “It was low during puberty, it is non-existent now. These are the first tests you run as a transwoman to find out how much you need to suppress. Didn’t take much. So, not exactly valid.”
He added that he has gone through “menopause” three times.
For the most part, women in Canadian powerlifting have supported his participation in the sport, he told The Epoch Times in an Instagram message.
At the North American Powerlifting Federation, women wore transgender flag socks to support him, Mr. Andres said.
“I highly recommend ignoring me entirely and focus on the women who I have been allowed to share the platform with,” Mr. Andres said. “My opinion is worthless. The women who want me there are the ones who matter.”
Ms. Gill, who got second place, agreed.
“My view is that everyone is forgetting that Anne Andres is a human being with emotions, and a desire to be accepted, as we all are,” she told The Epoch Times in an Instagram message. “As a fellow human being, I chose to support her, as she chooses to support me and all of our fellow lifters.”
Qualifying the statement, Ms. Gill added that she doesn’t know “the science behind transgender athletes and if they have biological advantages.”
She declined comment on any potential physical advantage Mr. Andres may have.
Scientific studies show male biology provides powerful athletic advantages.
Government studies found that men outperformed women by about 36.8 percent in their separate Olympic weightlifting events.
Studies also show that men have significantly more skeletal muscle mass than women, especially in the upper body.
Male puberty gives boys such a physical advantage that high school boys often outcompete female Olympians in many sports.
“I train very, very, stupidly hard,” Mr. Andres said in an Instagram post.
Some women have expressed outrage that transgender-identifying men now compete in women’s sports.
Canadian women’s sports coach Dr. Linda Blade condemned Canadian sports groups for failing to preserve women’s sports in a post on X, formerly known as Twitter.
“Dear Sports Federations in Canada. It’s not hard to have two sports categories and be 100 percent inclusive,” she said.
The CPU’s policy on transgender powerlifters allows any man who says he is a woman to participate without getting surgery, hormone therapy, or a history of transgender identification.
“Individuals participating in development and recreational sport should be able to participate in the gender with which they identify and not be subject to requirements for disclosure of personal information beyond those required of cisgender athletes,” the group’s site reads.
In March of 2023, male powerlifting coach Avi Silverberg identified as a woman and broke the women’s world record for powerlifting.
Mr. Silverberg hasn’t commented on his action. He has no record of identifying as transgender.
While male biological advantage may be extremely visible in powerlifting, it’s present in other sports too.
Former world champion tennis player Martina Navratilova condemned the U.S. Tennis Association (USTA) for opening the sport to transgender-identifying men.
“Women’s tennis is not for failed male athletes—whatever age,” Ms. Navratilova said. “This is not right and it is not fair. Would this be allowed at the U.S. Open this month? Just with self-ID? I don’t think so.”