Lia Thomas, the transgender swimmer who smashed women’s records this year, will be banned from competing against biological women in international events after the world swimming’s governing body announced on Sunday that it is barring transgender athletes who went through male puberty.
FINA, the international federation sports federation for swimming, announced on Sunday that it is changing its policies so that transgender women can only compete in the organization’s women’s races if they have completed their transition by the age of 12.
They will then have to prove to the federation that they have continuously suppressed their testosterone levels since that time.
To accommodate the transgender athletes, though, FINA is setting up an ‘open category’ for transgender athletes to compete against one another at events including the World Aquatics Championships, World Swimming Championships, and Swimming World Cup.
A working group will spend the next six months to determine how the ‘open category’ would operate.
‘We have to protect the rights of our athletes to compete, but we also have to protect competitive fairness at our events, especially the women’s category at FINA competitions,’ FINA President Husain Al-Musallam said in a statement.
But such a policy would prevent Thomas from competing in the international events that would raise her standing in international swimming and potentially land her a place at the Olympics – which she said in a recent interview she would like to compete at in the future.
Her quick rise to the top of the women’s charts, though, has caused an uproar across the United States, with many arguing that she has an unfair physical advantage over her fellow competitors.
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Source: Daily Mail