The most controversial sports story in 2017 thus far comes from a most unexpected world: high school women's wrestling in Texas.
Seventeen-year-old Mack Beggs recently won the 6A state wrestling title in the 110-pound weight class with a perfect 56-0 record. But critics are taking issue with the fact that Beggs, born a girl, identifies as male.
While the trans wrestler swept the competition as a woman, Beggs was being administered testosterone that critics argue gave him an unfair advantage over the slighter female wrestlers.
However, the levels of testosterone remain below the school district minimum, making it hard to present a legal argument against Beggs's record.
But this has not kept critics in the scientific community from equating Beggs's treatment with performance enhancement drugs. According to Dr. Brandon Mines of Emory University, "testosterone and anabolic steroids are in the same family and have the effect of increasing muscle mass and strength gains."
Beggs was met with resounding boos when he dropped his opponent in the championship match. The emotions of the moment were compounded by the fact that earlier that week President Trump had announced the revocation of a federal law allowing transgender students to use public restrooms that aligned with their gender preferences.
While Beggs's victory might bristle the local wrestling community and provoke arguments over the "purity" of the sport, there is no denying the timeliness of his accomplishment in the national context of gender politics and trans rights.
"I would rather have a chance to compete than not compete at all," declared Beggs to an unprecedented audience that found itself unexpectedly drawn to the marginal world of high school women's wrestling.