USA Powerlifting lost a two-year court battle after a state court ruled that it had discriminated against Minnesota powerlifter JayCee Cooper by banning her from competing in women's competitions.
The ruling also mandated that the sports organization "cease and desist from all unfair discriminatory practices" because of sexual orientation and gender identity and that it revise its policy related to sexual orientation and gender identity within two weeks.
Cooper's claims against USA Powerlifting date to 2019, when she filed a discrimination claim with the Minnesota Department of Human Rights. In it, she alleged the sports organization had violated the state's Human Rights Act by banning her and other transgender athletes from competing in women’s competitions.
In a statement, Cooper said that she “fought as hard as I could to ensure that every trans athlete has the opportunity to compete, and be recognized with full dignity and humanity."
“I am thrilled that this ruling recognizes our rights and our humanity and hopefully opens doors for transgender athletes everywhere to participate fully in sports,” she added.
However, USA Powerlifting President Larry Maile said his organization disagrees with court decision and will be exploring options, including a possible appeal.