Civil-rights probe opened into transgender athlete policy

The federal Office for Civil Rights has launched an investigation into Connecticut’s policy that allows transgender high school athletes to compete as the gender with which they identify.

The investigation was announced in a letter Wednesday from the arm of the U.S. Department of Education. It follows a complaint in June by the families of three girls, who say they were discriminated against by having to compete in track events against two athletes who were identified as male at birth and who they say have “male hormone levels and musculature.”

The complaint was submitted on the girls’ behalf by lawyers for the conservative nonprofit organization Alliance Defending Freedom, which contends the transgender girls have an unfair physical advantage and that the state policy violates Title IX, the federal law designed to ensure equal opportunities for women and girls in education, including athletics.

“Girls should never be simply spectators in their own sport; they deserve to compete on a fair playing field,” said Selina Soule, a Glastonbury High School sprinter, who consistently has finished behind the two transgender athletes in state championships.

The Connecticut Association of Schools-Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference has said its policy follows a state anti-discrimination law that says students must be treated in school by the gender with which they identify.


Nadal, Serena move up in Rogers Cup

Top-seeded defending champion Rafael Nadal advanced to the men’s Rogers Cup quarterfinals in Montreal, beating Argentina’s Guido Pella 6-3, 6-4 on Thursday night.

In the women’s Rogers Cup in Toronto, Serena Williams advanced to the quarterfinals, beating Russia’s Ekaterina Alexandrova 7-5, 6-4.

Williams, the eighth seed, will face No. 2 Naomi Osaka of Japan, a 7-6 (4), 6-4 winner over Polish qualifier Iga Swiatek in the late match.

“I definitely feel like it takes a while to get back into the rhythm, because we’ve had a long season of just clay and then grass, and now we’re on hard courts,” Williams said. “So it definitely feels different, especially for me now. Usually I don’t feel that huge of a difference, but for whatever reason, I do this year.”

WNBA: Elena Delle Donne had 22 points and eight rebounds and the host Washington Mystics beat the Indiana Fever 91-78.

MLS: Valentin Castellanos scored twice in the final 14 minutes and host New York City FC beat 10-man Houston Dynamo 3-2 in a match delayed an hour because of weather.

• The LA Galaxy acquired high-scoring forward Cristian Pavon on loan from Argentina’s Boca Juniors. Pavon, 23, played for Galaxy coach Guillermo Barros Schelotto with Boca Juniors.

• Inter Milan completed the signing of Belgium forward Romelu Lukaku from Manchester United. Lukaku signed a five-year deal with Inter, joining his younger brother in the Italian league. Jordan Lukaku plays for Serie A rival Lazio. Italian media reported that Inter paid United around $73 million plus $15 million in bonuses for Lukaku.

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