Deta Hedman sets record straight after refusing to face transgender darts player | Other | Sport

Hedman has been outspoken in her view that she would not face Dutch player Van Leuven, who in 2022 passed stringent transitioning tests to play in women’s darts. The Brit, 64, had been due to face the Dutch player in the quarter-finals of the tournament but decided to forfeit.

Speculation grew that Hedman had decided to pull out due to illness. But she has now set the record straight over those claims, saying she “won’t play a man in a ladies’ event”.

One theory suggested that pulling out through illness might have helped her ranking points. However, Hedman said: “No fake illness, I said I wouldn’t play a man in a ladies’ event.”

In a Facebook post, Hedman went on to explain: “This is not about the rights or the wrongs about my decision at the Denmark Open yesterday but I want to put the record straight.

“I went to control to speak to Carsten Jappesen, who was the tournament director and asked for a private chat. We went to an area backstage and not even my other half Paul witnessed what was said. Certainly no other officials were in earshot and definitely no other players were there.”

Having withdrawn from the Denmark Open ahead of the quarter-final, Hedman said: “I’m not playing against a man in a women’s event.”

Replying to a question on social media, which asked if there was any physical advantage for trans women players competing against women in darts, Hedman replied: “You ever suffered from menstrual, peri menopause, menopause, fibroids, endometriosis etc? By your response, I very much doubt it.”

Van Leuven, who played darts for a decade before transitioning, has previously said: “I didn’t have anything to live for [before transitioning], I wasn’t in a good space.

“Then I realised I am trans, [and] I should do something with that or I am not going to make anything out of my life. I went to the doctor, then into the programme. I was playing darts for nine years [before the transition] and I was missing something in life, then I started playing again. I missed the game, I missed the people.”

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