'A man is a man' - Samoa protests New Zealand transgender weightlifter's win

Samoa is protesting to the International Weightlifting Federation after New Zealand's first transgender competitior snatched gold from their lifter. 

Laurel Hubbard made history as New Zealand's first transgender weightlifter, but her big win resulted in Samoa's loss, and they're not happy. 

Tuaopepe Jerry Wallwork from the Samoa Weightlifting Federation said the competition was "unfair". 

"It doesn't matter what you say... I still think a man is a man, still has the muscles and the bones and the strength of a man," he said. 

Iuniarra Sipaia took silver, 19 kilograms behind Laurel Hubbard, and she believes it was not an equal playing field. 

"I am very disappointed with this issue, because a woman's strength is not the same as a man. I feel its very unfair," she said. 

Which is why the Samoa Weightlifting Federation is taking a protest to the International Weightlifting Federation. 

But transgender academic Lexie Matheson said this reaction flies in the face of science. 

"Muscle mass, body mass and strength are severely affected not just by estrogen but the fact... most trangender women take testosterone blockers as well," she said.

"You have to be stanch to transition from a birth assigned gender to the gender that you know you truly are. People forget that nobody would chose to be transgender."

Olympic Weightlifting New Zealand said Laurel Hubbard meets the criteria to compete in the women's division and it is up to the top international sporting bodies to clarify whether she has an unfair advantage.

Ms Hubbard has avoided commenting publicly. 

However Samoa is determined not to let the matter lie. 

The Samoa Weightlifting Federation are going to the International Weightlifting Federation after their athlete came second to New Zealander Laurel Hubbard. Source: 1 NEWS