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Loreben Tuquero
By Loreben Tuquero March 28, 2024

Trans runners didn’t complain about ill-fitting uniforms; that’s satire

If Your Time is short

Transgender athletes’ participation in competitions often stirs social media debate. A recent post stoked negative user reactions after claiming that transgender athletes complained about ill-fitting uniforms.

"Transwomen complain about uniforms crushing their balls during dominating performance," read the text in a March 19 Facebook post. It featured a photo of four athletes.

(Screenshot from Facebook)

This post was flagged as part of Meta’s efforts to combat false news and misinformation on its News Feed. (Read more about our partnership with Meta, which owns Facebook and Instagram.)

But this didn’t happen. The claim originated from an article published in 2019 by Genesius Times, a satirical website.

The Genesius Times article included a doctored photo in which the athletes’ uniforms and the names on their racing bibs were altered.

The original photo showed Chinese runners Liao Mengxue, Fu Na, Tong Zenghuan and Yang Huizhen. In 2019, Liao and Tong placed in the women’s 400 meters at the National Track and Field Championships Finals in the Chinese province Heilongjiang, and they came under scrutiny when social media users said they looked like men. 

According to the South China Morning Post, the Chinese Athletics Association said the two runners are female. World Athletics, formerly the International Association of Athletics Federations, listed the four athletes under "women" in its biographical summaries for the 2019 World Relays.

We found no proof that they complained about their uniforms.

We rate this claim False.

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Trans runners didn’t complain about ill-fitting uniforms; that’s satire

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