Australia has asked for a transgender weightlifter to be banned from the Commonwealth Games, saying she has an unfair advantage over her rivals.

Kiwi Laurel Hubbard, 39, was granted permission to compete in this year's Gold Coast commonwealth Games for the women's weightlifting event.

Michael Keelan, the CEO of the Australian Weightlifting Federation, has disputed the decision to let the champion weightlifter compete in a letter.

According to the Sunday Telegraph Keelan wrote there was a significant disadvantage to female weight lifters.

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"It is our strong view that weightlifting has always been a gender-specific sport, male and female, not a competition among individuals of various levels of testosterone," he wrote.

"In our respectful view, the current criteria and its application has the potential to devalue women's weightlifting and discourage female-born athletes from pursuing the sport at the elite level in the future."

New Zealand transgender athlete Laurel Hubbard competing in weightlifting W35-39 (+90) class at AUT Millennium. Photo / Doug Sherring.
New Zealand transgender athlete Laurel Hubbard competing in weightlifting W35-39 (+90) class at AUT Millennium. Photo / Doug Sherring.

It has been determined she met the international guidelines for the sport and had been undergoing at least 12 months of hormone therapy.

She also recorded low levels of testosterone in her tests. The 39-year-old began transition in 2014.

Laurel Hubbard of New Zealand warms up during the IWF Weightlifting World Championships in Anaheim, California, USA on 5 December 2017. Photo / Elieko / IWF World Championships
Laurel Hubbard of New Zealand warms up during the IWF Weightlifting World Championships in Anaheim, California, USA on 5 December 2017. Photo / Elieko / IWF World Championships

Ms Hubbard caused outrage after she won a silver and a gold last year in the world championships and an international event in Melbourne.

The 39-year-old, who lived as a man for 35 years, hopes people will take a balanced view of what she admits is a complicated subject.

"I would say to those people it's a complex question," Hubbard told the Weekend Herald in December, when asked what she would say to those questioning her right to compete as a female.

"Obviously the policies put forward by the IOC and other organisations are evolving and perhaps they may change after I have competed. But I would ask people to keep an open mind and perhaps look to the fact that I didn't win, as evidence that any advantage I may hold is not as great as they may think."

Hubbard's emergence last year has made headlines across the globe, as the topic of transgender athletes in sport has come to the fore in recent years. No doubt Hubbard hopes for a degree of understanding, but she is also a realist about what is, for many, a polarising subject.

"The rules that enabled me to compete first went into effect in 2003," Hubbard said.

"They are known as the Stockholm consensus with the IOC but I think even 10 years ago the world perhaps wasn't ready for an athlete like myself ... and perhaps it is not ready now. But I got the sense at least that people were willing to consider me for these competitions and it seemed like the right time to put the boots on and hit the platform."