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Transgender Swimmer Lia Thomas Is Officially Banned From Competing With Women
World swimming’s governing body has effectively banned transgender women from competing in women’s events, starting Monday.
FINA members widely adopted a new “gender inclusion policy” on Sunday that only permits swimmers who transitioned before age 12 to compete in women’s events. The organization also proposed an “open competition category.”
“This is not saying that people are encouraged to transition by the age of 12. It’s what the scientists are saying, that if you transition after the start of puberty, you have an advantage, which is unfair,” James Pearce, who is the spokesperson for FINA president Husain Al-Musallam, told The Associated Press.
“They’re not saying everyone should transition by age 11, that’s ridiculous. You can’t transition by that age in most countries and hopefully you wouldn’t be encouraged to.
Basically, what they’re saying is that it is not feasible for people who have transitioned to compete without having an advantage.”
Pearce confirmed there are currently no transgender women competing in elite levels of swimming.
However, the ruling would seemingly exclude University of Pennsylvania swimmer Lia Thomas from elite competition