ALBANY, NY (NEWS10) — Jadah Robinson won the USA National Junior Olympic gold medal in boxing in 2019, leading to a number one ranking for the Albany native in her weight class. This past July, she brought home the silver medal in the juniors, but she didn’t get the chance to defend her title. Jadah is now using the circumstances surrounding her disqualification to start a much larger conversation about women in sports.

“I have no problem saying that I have a gold medal, a silver medal, and a bronze medal,” said Robinson. “I have no problem saying that. Behind each medal is a different story.”

In mid-July, the 16-year old flew to Wichita, Kansas aiming for another gold medal in the Junior Olympics. Due to her number one ranking, she would need to win just one fight. But she’d never get that chance. “I was supposed to fight Wednesday,” said Robinson. “So that Wednesday I went to go weigh in, but just before then, Tuesday evening, Wednesday morning I had just received my friend, my menstrual period.”

The fight was set for 125 pounds, but due to her menstrual cycle, Jadah’s weight rose one pound above the weight limit. “Wednesday morning she weighed in at 124.4 ounces, and one hour, maybe two hours later she was 126,” said Sheeba Brown, Jadah’s mother.

According to Dr. Brooke Lamparello, a gynecologist with St. Peter’s in Albany, this sort of weight gain is natural for women during their menstrual cycle. “Some women can gain up to a few pounds, some women can up to three to five pounds during their menstrual cycle,” said Dr. Lamparello.

Jadah did all she could to try and lose the extra pound. “I ran, I jumped rope, I did a couple extra minutes on the treadmill,” said Robinson. “I ran from the hotel all the way to the facility to try and get some sweat going. I did everything I could.”

But it became evident, that pound wasn’t coming off. “She was wearing a pad that was extra overnight heavy on top of the flow that’s happening, on top of the bra,” said Brown. “It’s impossible for her not to be one pound over with the pad on alone.”

Jadah then sought out a female official, to make her aware of the situation. “‘When she weighs in, I can give her a little bit of leniency,’ that’s what she told me and my mom,” said Robinson. “We were like, ‘ok that’s good, you saw her train and try to lose the weight. You know that she’s on her menstrual and you know what’s going on with her right now, and you know little bit more than anyone else would because you’re also a female.'”

But that leniency was not granted. We reached out to USA boxing, they referred us to Section 4B of their weigh in procedures, which states: “There will be zero tolerance on any overweight”. The representative went on to add that officials do not have the ability to change rules or grant leniency.

Because she was one pound over the weight limit, Jadah was disqualified and presented with the silver medal. “I just got disqualified for something I can’t control? It’s not like I was in the ring and I was hitting someone in the back of the head or I was holding or something like that,” said Robinson. “It was something I can’t control, which I feel is unfair.”

Now, Jadah is speaking out, looking to make change in the sport she loves. She’s imploring USA boxing to add a new policy that would allow for one to two pounds of leniency if an athlete’s cycle overlaps with the weigh-in, ensuring that other female boxers aren’t kept out of the ring for a natural occurrence in their bodies. “It’s not just for me,” said Robinson. “Even male coaches were coming to me like, ‘This happened to my fighter before.’ Other female coaches came to me like, ‘What happens when my daughter goes through this? My daughter is young, what happens when she gets to this age where she’s getting her period, she’s developing, she’s going through these things? What happens when she gets her period before a weigh-in, what are we supposed to do?’ I’m like, this is what I mean. You guys are actually letting me know that I have to be the person, whether it was me or anybody else, you’re letting me know that it still needs to be talked about that at the end of the day, we need a policy to where we have one to two pounds of leniency due to our period.”

Robinson’s next event will be the USA Boxing National Qualifier Championships beginning on December 3rd in Lubbock, TX.