Canadian Powerlifting Union suspends woman for opposing men competing against women

Canadian powerlifter April Hutchinson in a 2022 YouTube video.
Canadian powerlifter April Hutchinson in a 2022 YouTube video. | Screengrab: YouTube/Will Tennyson

The Canadian Powerlifting Union has suspended a professional female bodybuilder for two years because she criticized the union's decision to allow men to compete against women in the sport.

April Hutchinson announced on her X account Tuesday that she was facing a two-year suspension by the CPU in response to recent comments she made about the unfairness of allowing men who self-identify as female to compete against women and "loot their winnings."

“I now face a 2-year ban by the CPU for speaking publicly about the unfairness of biological males being allowed to taunt female competitors & loot their winnings,” Hutchinson wrote.

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“Apparently, I have failed in my gender-role duties as ‘supporting actress’ in the horror show that is my #sport right now. Naturally, the CPU deemed MY written (private) complaint of the male bullying to be ‘frivolous and vexatious.’”

Hutchinson went on to vow that “my fight does not stop here” and she opposes the idea that female athletes must “shut-up and put-up with” sex-based discrimination.

The suspension stems from recent remarks Hutchinson made regarding a man who now goes by the name Anne Andres and set a national record in the women's bodybuilding division during a championship competition in August.

“It's been very disheartening, that national record that he broke athletes have been chasing that for years,” Hutchinson said on the program “Piers Morgan Uncensored,” adding that “it just goes to show the physical advantages that a male has over a female.”

The 40-year-old Andres competed in the Canadian Powerlifting Union's 2023 Western Canadian Championship in August at the Healthy Living Centre at Brandon University.

Andres competed in the Female Masters Unequipped category, with a reported powerlifting score that was 400 pounds higher than the top-performing female powerlifter, with the trans-identified athlete securing first place.

“Today I did some lifting. Not just some lifting. I got to lift with friends from across Canada,” Andres posted on Instagram at the time. “Friends who welcome me and love me and want me to be there. Friends who support trying to be the best me. I couldn’t ask for more than that, could I?”

“That in mind, I got every masters record and two unofficial world masters records. I don’t care about records. I care about being there with my friends.”

In recent years, there has been significant debate and outrage over men being allowed to compete against women in women-only athletic competitions because they have a physical advantage over their female competitors. 

In March, Minnesota District Court Judge Patrick Diamond issued a ruling declaring that USA Powerlifting must allow men who identify as female to compete in women’s competitions.

Diamond concluded that USA Powerlifting had violated the Minnesota Human Rights Act when it refused to allow men who identify as trans to compete against women, writing that the group’s policy “constitutes both public accommodation discrimination and discrimination in trade or business.”  

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