Tokyo Olympics: IOC's medical and science director hails Laurel Hubbard's 'courage and tenacity' ahead of Olympic debut

Kiwi weightlifter Laurel Hubbard's participation at the Tokyo Olympics has been heralded by the IOC's medical and science director.

Hubbard, 43, will make history when she competes in the women's +87kg weightlifting division, having transitioned in 2013.

Cleared to compete as a woman, Hubbard will become the second transgender Olympian on August 2, following Canada's Quinn, competing in the women's football.

And speaking in Tokyo on Thursday, doctor Richard Budgett outlined the case of the need for Hubbard's inclusion in Tokyo.

"There are no IOC rules or regulations around transgender participation," Budgett says. "That depends on each international federation. 

"So Laurel Hubbard is a woman, is competing under the rules of her federation and we have to pay tribute to her courage and tenacity in actually competing and qualifying for the Games."

Hubbard's case has been controversial since her initial selection earlier this year, with some arguing that having been a male until her 30s gives her an unfair advantage, in terms of bone density and muscle mass.

But Budgett argues that the issue is not simply black and white.

"It's very difficult to say, 'yes, she has an advantage because she went through male puberty,' when there's so many other factors to take into account," he adds. "It's not simple. 

"Each sport has to make their own assessment depending on the physiology of that sport, so that they can ensure there is fair competition. 

"But also the inclusion of everyone - whether they're male or female - so they are able to take part in the sport they love."

Hubbard is currently ranked seventh in the world in the +87kg division, with her competition beginning on Monday at 10:50pm.