World Netball has banned transgender women from competing in women’s international competition.

The ban comes in with immediate effect after the global governing body released a new participation and inclusion policy on Monday.

World Netball said that after a lengthy consultation process it had determined international women’s netball was a “gender affected activity”.

A new policy was required to ensure “fairness and safety”, it added.

Women’s netball at international level will now be restricted to players “recorded as female at birth irrespective of gender identity” or transgender athletes who can demonstrate to World Netball’s satisfaction “they have not experienced the biological effects of testosterone at any time”.

“Following detailed review of the science and consultation with experts and members, it has determined that international level women’s netball is a gender affected activity and that a policy is required (to) ensure fairness and safety at this level of our sport,” World Netball said in a statement.

“World Netball believes that the research on which it has relied is robust, it comprises many research studies, all of which have been published in peer-reviewed journals and come from multiple distinct research groups around the world.”

World Netball said national governing bodies could choose to “modify or even not apply these guidelines” if they decided to base their participation rules on other factors.

The international policy, which follows similar moves by other sports, will be reviewed annually by World Netball.

In June 2022, swimming’s world governing body Fina voted to stop transgender athletes from competing in women’s elite events if they had gone through any part of the process of male puberty.

The Rugby Football League and Rugby Football Union also banned transgender women from competing in female-only forms of their games.

World Athletics banned transgender women from competing in the female category at international events, while world cycling’s governing body the UCI ruled transgender women would be prevented from competing in female events.

Transgender women have also been barred by the International Cricket Council from playing in international women’s matches.