Female Powerlifter Suspended After Calling Out Biological Male Competing in Her Sport

There have been no shortage of stories of biological males competing in all levels of women’s sports as of late, and female athletes are not only paying the price in competition. 

Late last year, the Canadian Powerlifting Union suspended Ontario-based powerlifter April Hutchinson after she spoke out about the threat male participation poses to women’s athletics. 

She remains suspended today and, on Thursday’s show, Hutchinson joined Megyn to discuss her history in the sport and the backlash she has faced since speaking out about ‘trans’ competitors.

[Editor’s NoteYou can learn more about Megyn’s position on preferred pronouns here.]

‘Trans’ Powerlifting

Hutchinson is a decorated powerlifter who made her professional debut in 2021 at the Central Canadian Powerlifting Championships. Despite only taking up the sport in 2020 after seeking treatment for alcohol addiction, she has won 12 medals in eight competitions.

As she explained, she first came to know ‘trans’ powerlifter Anne Andres on social media. The two communicated on Facebook during the COVID-19 pandemic, and Hutchinson said she initially believed Andres to be a biological female. “We were chatting for at least a year… giving each other little tips and stuff,” she recalled. “And I had no idea that it was about a biological male until he actually admitted to me during our last conversation.”

Andres took up women’s powerlifting in 2019 and has since won medals and set records. “He’s ranked number number one in the world right now for his Masters category,” Hutchinson said. “And he holds like three out of the five records in Alberta.”

Last summer, Megyn covered when Andres placed first in the Females Master Unequipped category at the Western Canadian Powerlifting & Bench Press Championships – setting an official national record and unofficial world record for women’s deadlift in the process. Andres lifted 200 kilograms (or nearly 450 pounds) more than the woman who finished second.

The Suspension

Hutchinson and Andres were scheduled to compete against each other in a national tournament in Vancouver last February when she decided to take a stand. “They thought I was going to attend and the morning of the event the judges were asking me where I was. I talked to them and said I refuse to compete as long as there is a biological male,” she explained. “After that, I visited the federation and I had a lawyer involved too because they kept on sending me letters of discipline saying they were going to suspend me.”

They finally did suspend Hutchinson after she sat for an interview with Piers Morgan last fall. “Basically, they suspended me because I called Anne Andres a biological male on the Piers Morgan show,” Hutchinson said. The CPU accused her of multiple violations of the organization’s Code of Conduct and Social Media Policy.

The suspension took effect November 7, 2023, but Hutchinson has since appealed. “I can’t compete, but I did have the suspension reduced because I got a lawyer involved and we appealed it through a third party organization,” she shared. She will now be sitting out for one year instead of two.

Incremental Change

The Canadian Powerlifting Union’s trans inclusion policy states that “trans athletes should be able to participate in the gender with which they identify, regardless of whether or not they have undergone hormone therapy.”

Hutchinson’s outspokenness has led to some incremental change. Under the original guidelines, Hutchinson said her boyfriend or any man could have “walked in tomorrow, self-declared as a woman, and take records or compete,” she said. “That’s how simple it was. I couldn’t believe it.”

CPU no longer permits gender self-identification. Instead, it requires competitors to confirm their gender identity via government identification and report their testosterone levels. “I wrote the federation and I said you need to put measures in place to protect women and fairness,” Hutchinson explained. “They did change the policy, but that’s only because I pressured them, I hired a lawyer, and I also contacted the international governing body.”

While she is sidelined from the sport, she remains hopeful. “I don’t feel so alone anymore… I feel like I have an army behind me,” Hutchinson concluded. “People are waking up, and I’m hoping someday to get Canada back to where it was.”

You can check out Megyn’s full interview with Hutchinson by tuning in to episode 741 on YouTube, Apple Podcasts, or wherever you like to listen. And don’t forget that you can catch The Megyn Kelly Show live on SiriusXM’s Triumph (channel 111) weekdays from 12pm to 2pm ET.