Tokyo Olympics: Backlash against Laurel Hubbard's weightlifting inclusion leads to 'no-win' situation, says transgender rights and policy expert

A leading author on transgender rights and policies believes Laurel Hubbard is in a no-win situation at this year's Olympic Games.

Hubbard will create history in Tokyo, when she becomes the first transgender-athlete to compete at an Olympics.

But Jami Taylor - professor at the University of Toledo and an expert and author on transgender rights and policy - believes the widespread backlash that's come with Hubbard's inclusion will see more restrictions in place for future Games.

"I'm not going to be surprised if we do see more restrictions in place because of the backlash that's building here," Taylor tells Newshub.

"She's in a no-win situation to me."

It's a debate that's gone right to the very top

"All parties here have simply followed the rules," assessed New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern.

But there will always be those questioning Hubbard's inclusion, including former Kiwi weightlifter, Tracey Lambrechs.

"Whether they decide to do a 'Laurels won gold and the next person gets a gold as well'  because you know - they won as well."

Taylor accepts the questions raised over whether trans women are at an advantage are legitimate.

The IOC have said they're open to reviewing the medical and scientific evidence as it comes in for future games

"Here's one of the unfortunate things for Laurel. Laurel will be part of that evidence, and that's a very difficult situation to be in."

But Taylor isn't convinced Hubbard will be the first and only trans-gender athlete to compete at the Summer Games. 

"No. No, I don't. Because trans men have every potential to medal too.

"I think this whole discussion around trans women competing - you're trying to have a yes or no,  when the reality is this is a very complex situation.

"Not all sports are the same and individuals are the same. 

"So you really have to look at the individual circumstances to make a determination, and I think that's being missed in the debate."

It's an issue that's not only professional to Taylor, but personal as well.

She has herself transitioned.

"I don't usually go in the media, because I don't wanna get attacked," she tells Newshub. 

Perhaps that's the reason why Hubbard hasn't done media since she was named in the Olympic team earlier this week.

"I understand why [she's] quiet, because that's the way I've been most of my professional life as well. 

"Much like [Laurel], I show up and do my job. So I get it. 

"Because the scrutiny that you face is pretty high."