The Canadian Powerlifting Union (CPU) has been in the spotlight quite a few times over the years, partially due to its policy on transgender athletes. The federation was infamous for accepting self-identification from athletes. So, if any person decided to identify as a woman, then they would be allowed to compete in the women’s division without too many requirements. This sparked controversy since some women believe that transgender athletes still retained an advantage over them. April Hutchinson was one of the most vocal athletes about the topic for a longer period of time. However, she has now been suspended by the CPU for not respecting the choice of another athlete to identify as a woman.
April Hutchinson has been advocating for a change of the transgender policy for a while. However, April was especially shaken up when Anne Andres, a transgender powerlifter, broke multiple women’s National records at the 2023 CPU Western Canadian Championship. Hutchinson released multiple statements, saying that “Bodies play sport, not identities”, and referring to Anne as a male.
Unfortunately for April Hutchinson, the Canadian Powerlifting Union (CPU) came to the conclusion that she deserves a two-year suspension for not respecting the transgender policies. This news has been revealed by April on the “X” social platform, formerly known as Twitter.
“I now face a 2-year ban by the CPU for speaking publicly about the unfairness of biological males being allowed to taunt female competitors & loot their winnings.
Apparently, I have failed in my gender-role duties as “supporting actress” in the horror show that is my #sport right now.
Naturally, the CPU deemed MY written (private) complaint of the male bullying to be “frivolous and vexatious.”
I now face a 2-year ban by the CPU for speaking publicly about the unfairness of biological males being allowed to taunt female competitors & loot their winnings.
Apparently, I have failed in my gender-role duties as “supporting actress” in the horror show that is my… pic.twitter.com/CJxVZtG0VA
— April Hutchinson (@Lea_Christina4) November 7, 2023
April Hutchinson has also competed in the International Powerlifting Federation (IPF), which is affiliated with the Canadian Powerlifting Union (CPU) as well. So, the Executive Committee of the IPF has also released a statement, but instead advocated for freedom of speech.
“The IPF respects the rights of our athletes to express their views on social issues that affect them, as well as their freedom of speech. The IPF Executive Committee shall contact the Canadian Powerlifting Union to request clarification on this matter,” read IPF’s statement.
April Hutchinson was not the only powerlifter who had trouble acknowledging the success of transgender athletes in the women’s division. Instead, Avi Silverberg, a biological male, entered a competition identifying as a woman in order to protest the policy. During that appearance, Avi broke the women’s bench press record held by Anne Andres, the transgender powerlifter who was mentioned earlier.
Anne Andres was in the spotlight a while ago when she seemingly mocked the capabilities of women on the bench press. Anne stated how she doesn’t not understand “why women’s bench press is so bad”.
It remains to be seen if April Hutchinson’s suspension from the CPU will stand or if it will be lifted, especially after the statement from the IPF. The last time that April competed in the CPU was just two months ago. But, if she ends up being suspended, then we won’t see her in the federation until late 2025.