EXACTLY how and where trans athletes fit into the competitive sport picture is a conversation set to rumble on for some time. It is a highly emotive and contentious subject with little scope for nuance or grey areas with those involved traditionally entrenched in their own ideology.

On one side are those who believe that anyone who transitions from one gender to another should not be denied the opportunity to continue to play sport as they see fit.

Those on the other side of the argument believe that having transwomen, born into a male body, participating in women’s events is both potentially dangerous in contact sports and also no longer makes it a level playing field in a competitive sense.

In the meantime, sporting governing bodies find themselves caught in the horns of a dilemma, not wishing to be seen to be excluding anyone but also aware of the danger of devaluing women’s sport should former males, with the physical advantages that they traditionally possess, start to sweep up all of the prizes.

The news that World Athletics are consulting with their federations over an eligibility rule change that would increase the restrictions on transgender athletes – they must reduce their testosterone levels and then stay below that threshold for two years – but not ban them entirely has brought this thorny topic once more to the fore ahead of a vote in March.

A growing number of leading British athletes have already voiced their disapproval and Kirsty Law is eager to join them. The two-time British discus champion admits she is in a better position than most to speak out given that, at the age of 36, she is coming towards the end of her career and does not have to play any political game to safeguard her future.

She has also spent much of her career training alongside male athletes, seeing first hand just how much stronger they are and how much further they can throw; and that despite using heavier implements (ie the discus, shot, hammer and javelin) than their female counterparts.

Law has followed this debate closely and her summation of all the various moving parts comes down repeatedly to one word: fairness.

Should World Athletics’ proposals be voted through, the Munlochy athlete can see a day in the not-too-distant future when transgender women start to dominate female events. And her fear is what that might do for morale among young females coming through but no longer believing they have a chance of competing.

“I should say first of all that I am completely not against transgender people at all,” said Law. “But I just don’t think they should be allowed to compete in women’s sport.

“My big thing is fairness. It’s not fair. No matter how much you reduce the testosterone levels it still isn’t comparable with a woman. We experience periods and menstrual cycles and transwomen don’t go through any of that. So that affects our training and even how we compete at times.

“There are reasons why the men’s implements in throwing are heavier than the women’s. I train with Lawrence Okoye and Zane Duquemin and if they pick up a 1kg discus it’s going to be a world record. They can throw 20m further than me with barely an effort.

“It’s good that a lot of bigger names in sport are coming out and airing their views on this as a lot of others probably feel that they can’t because of contracts, sponsorships and things like that.

“I’ll be retired soon but it’s the younger generation coming through that I worry about. I would hate it if we got to a point where young female athletes start to think, ‘what’s the point?’ as they’re not able to compete.

“I’ve had so many mums and dads reaching out to me to thank me for talking about this on Twitter as they have girls in sport and don’t want them to be disadvantaged. It’s hard to keep younger girls involved in sport as it is without making them feel totally discouraged. You wouldn’t want a female not to make it into a team because a trans woman gets in ahead of them. That wouldn’t be right.”

Comments made by a female doctor a few years ago on the BBC Woman’s Hour programme left Law particularly enraged. The doctor suggested that allowing transgender women to participate in female sports ought to help cis women “up their performance” against former males, as perhaps they “cap their performance” when up against other women.

“I got sent a link to that podcast and I couldn’t believe what I was hearing,” she said. “That’s clearly coming from someone who doesn’t know sport. Come and train with us for a week or two and see how hard we women work at it. The idea that we have to try harder is a bit insulting really.”

Law does not claim to have all the answers but thinks more alternatives need to be explored.

“Maybe transwomen could compete in a third category that’s open to all. I don’t know what the answer is. But I strongly believe that women’s sport should be reserved for females only.”