A trans-identified male has set a new Canadian record in women’s powerlifting after beating out his female competitors at a championship in Manitoba yesterday. The outrageous victory comes after the governing body for the sport implemented an explicit gender self-identification policy earlier this year.
Anne Andres, 40, currently holds multiple records in the women’s category and has first placed in nine out of the eleven women’s competitions he has competed in over the past four years. Yesterday at the Brandon University venue, Andres set both a new Canadian women’s national record and an unofficial women’s world powerlifting record, according to pro-women outlet Reduxx.
Andres “broke” the records during the Canadian Powerlifting Union’s (CPU) 2023 Western Canadian Championship on Sunday, participating in the Female Masters 1 Unequipped category.
According to advance results obtained by Reduxx, Andres’ total score was 597.5kg, well over 200kg more than the top-performing biological female in the same class. This total score comprises the sum of the heaviest weight lifted in the squat, bench press, and deadlift. If Andres had competed as a man, he would also be amongst the top performers for the entire championship.
On Instagram, Andres boasted of his success, posting videos of himself competing at the championship.
“Today I did some lifting. Not just some lifting. I got to lift with friends from across Canada,” Andres wrote on Instagram. “Keep in mind I turned 40 a week ago so suddenly being Master 1 is kind of hollow. That in mind, I got every masters [sic] record and two unofficial world masters records. I don’t care about records. I care about being there with my friends.”
In February, Andres was slammed online by pro-women’s sports advocates, including American swimmer Riley Gaines, for posting a video seemingly not understanding why women were “so bad” at bench press.
“Well [I don’t know] Anne, but maybe it’s because you have 20 times more testosterone than them,” Gaines tweeted sarcastically in response. “Just a thought…”
Shortly after the video of Andres went viral, the CPU announced a new policy regarding trans-identified athletes, explicitly stating that they could choose to participate in whichever sex category they so wished, regardless of whether or not they had undergone hormone therapy. The rule-change was reportedly based on guidance from the Canadian Centre for Ethics in Sport.
Only a month later, USA Powerlifting was forced by a judge to allow transgender athletes to compete in women’s events after the governing body had been sued by trans athlete JayCee Cooper.
Speaking to Tucker Carlson at the time, Canadian powerlifter April Hutchinson said that women in the sport were outraged.
“We’re angry. We’re hurt. We’re offended. We’re basically every emotion except for happy,” Hutchinson said. “Would I feel good about myself if I was a male taking female records and spots? I can’t believe we’re even having this debate and this conversation in 2023.”
In a statement to Reduxx, Linda Blade, founder of the International Consortium on Female Sport, condemned the CPU for allowing Andres to participate with female athletes.
“Since we became aware of Anne Andres’s unethical participation in CPU female powerlifting in January of 2023, we have written letters, helped affected athletes obtain legal representation, and worked very hard to convince CPU to align with its own international federation to ensure fairness for Canadian women,” Blade said. “The CPU insists on championing this unfairness and we condemn it wholeheartedly.”
EDITOR’S NOTE 08/14/23: A previous version of this article mistakenly used pounds (lbs) instead of kilograms (kg).