Navratilova apologises for transgender remarks

Martin Navratilova has apologised for her controversial remarks about the participation of transgender athletes in women's sport.

Tennis legend Navratilova caused a stir by saying that allowing athletes that have transitioned from male to female to compete with women is "insane" and akin to "cheating".

The 62-year-old was dropped as an ambassador for LGBTQ athletic advocacy group Athlete Ally as a result of her comments.

Navratilova on Sunday stated she was sorry to those who took issue with her remarks, stating that she was attempting to open up a debate on equality and fairness in relation to transgender participation in women's sport.

The 18-time grand slam singles champion wrote in a lengthy post on her website: "I know that my use of the word 'cheat' caused particular offence among the transgender community. I'm sorry for that because I certainly was not suggesting that transgender athletes in general are cheats.

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The Duchess of Cambridge speaks with ex tennis players Kim Clijsters (second from right) and Martina Navratilova (right) on day one of the Wimbledon Championships at The All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club, Wimbledon.
Jul 14, 2018; London, United Kingdom; Julia Lemigova, Martina Navratilova, Billie Jean King, Ilana Kloss, Philip Brook, HRH The Duchess of Cambridge and HRH The Duchess of Sussex react in the Royal Box during the Novak Djokovic (SRB) and Rafael Nadal (ESP) match on day 12 at All England Lawn and Croquet Club. Mandatory Credit: Susan Mullane-USA TODAY Sports
Stephen Fry with Martina Navratilova (right) in the Royal Box on day day Ten of the Wimbledon Championships at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club, Wimbledon.
La extenista Martina Navratilova. EFE/Archivo
BEVERLY HILLS - FEBRUARY 11: Martina Navratilova and Julia Lemigova at the 2017 Clive Davis Pre-Grammy Gala at the Beverly Hilton Hotel on February 11, 2017 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Scott Kirkland/PictureGroup)BEVERLY HILLS - FEBRUARY 11: Martina Navratilova at the 2017 Clive Davis Pre-Grammy Gala at the Beverly Hilton Hotel on February 11, 2017 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Scott Kirkland/PictureGroup) *** Please Use Credit from Credit Field ***
Martina Navratilova and Julia Lemigova on day twelve of the Wimbledon Championships at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club, Wimbledon.
Serena Williams and Lucie Safarova with their trophies alongside Martina Navratilova after the women's singles final on day fourteen of the French Open at Roland Garros on June 6th, 2015 in Paris, France
Martina Navratilova (left) arriving for the Sports Personality of the Year Awards 2012, at the ExCel Arena, London.
Prime Minister David Cameron talks to tennis player Martina Navratilova during a reception for the 2012 Laureus Awards in 10 Downing Street, central London.
Britain's Prime Minister David Cameron (front row centre) poses for a photograph with sports personalities (back row left-right) Sean Fitzpatrick, Gary Player, Nadia Comaneci, Novak Djokovic, Boris Becker, Oscar Pistorius, Steve Regrave, Mark Spitz, (front row left-right) Kelly Holmes, Tanni Grey-Thompson, David Cameron, Edwin Moses and Martina Navratilova, during a reception for the 2012 Laureus Awards in 10 Downing Street, central London.
USA's Martina Navratilova during the match with her partner Czech Republic's Jana Novotna against USA's Lindsay Davenport and Switzerland's Martina Hingis in the Ladies' Invitation Doubles final on day thirteen of the 2011 Wimbledon Championships at the All England Lawn Tennis Club, Wimbledon.
Former tennis player Martina Navratilova and Sir Richard Branson watch the match between Belarus' Victoria Azarenka and Czech Republic's Petra Kvitova on day ten of the 2011 Wimbledon Championships at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club, Wimbledon.
USA's Martina Navratilova during the Ladies' Invitation Doubles final.
Martina Navratilova in the Royal Box on Centre Court
Martina Navratilova greets Queen Elizabeth II as she attends the Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Championships on Day 4 at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club in London.
Sunderland Chairman Niall Quinn (right) and former Women's Tennis Champion Martina Navratilova in the stands
Sir Richard Branson and Martina Navratilova watch the Ladies final between Venus and Serena Williams during the 2009 Wimbledon Championships at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club, Wimbledon, London.
Martina Navratilova (left) and Rula Lenska during The All England Lawn Tennis Championship at Wimbledon.
Tennis ace Martina Navratilova ahead of her appearance in the Liverpool International Tennis tournament.
Tennis star Martina Navratilova (left) arrives with actress Rula Lenska for the 50th Sports Personality of the Year awards presentation at the BBC Centre, London.
Martina Navratilova (r) is presented with her trophy by The Duke of Edinburgh (l) afterr winning in the mixed doubles final
NO COMMERCIAL USE: Former Wimbledon champion Martina Navratilova (right) receives her Waterford Crystal plate from HRH The Duchess of Gloucester during the Champions Parade at Wimbledon.
NO COMMERCIAL USE: Former Wimbledon champions Martina Navratilova (left) and Chris Evert share a joke during the Champions Parade at Wimbledon.
Martina Navratilova and Chris Evert
Martina Navratilova sings along with Sir Cliff Richard on Centre Court this afternoon (Wednesday) as rain stopped play in the men's quarter finals. Photo by Adam Butler/PA.
The Princess of Wales and her son Princess William applaud Conchita Martinez and Martina Navratilova after the Womens' Singles Final at Wimbledon, London.
REFEREE ALAN MILLS ESCORTS MARTINA NAVRATILOVA AND CONCHITA MARTINEZ ONTO THE CENTRE COURT FOR THE LADIES FINAL.
25-JUN-93 ... Wimbledon Tennis ... Martina Navratilova, Czechoslovakia
MARTINA NAVRATILOVA AND MARK WOODFORDE HOLD UP THEIR WIMBLEDON MIXED DOUBLES TROPHY ON CENTRE COURT. IT IS MISS NAVRATILOVA'S 18TH WIMBLEDON TITLE.
Martina Navratilova of the USA in action
Ladies Singles Champion for a record ninth time Martina Navratilova holds aloft the trohy on the centre court.
Ladies' Singles champion Martina Navratilova (l) shows off the trophy, as runner up Steffi Graf has to be content with a bouquet of flowers
Martina Navratilova celebrates victory
Martina Navratilova admires the trophy as she holds it aloft
Czech-born American Tennis star Martina Navratilova, about to play at Surbiton.
Martina Navratilova
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"I attached the label to a notional case in which someone cynically changes gender, perhaps temporarily, to gain a competitive advantage.

"We should not be blind to the possibility and some of these rules are making that possible and legal. The context may be different, but the case of Lance Armstrong, and the harm he did to his sport, is surely instructive."

She added: "Needless to say, I have always and will always be a champion of democracy, equal rights, human rights and full protection under the law for everyone.

"When I talk about sports and rules that must be fair, I am not trying to exclude trans people from living a full, healthy life.

"And I am certainly not advocating violence against trans people, as has been suggested. All I am trying to do is to make sure girls and women who were born female are competing on as level a playing field as possible within their sport."

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