World Sports Body Restricts Trans-Identifying Male Athletes From Women's Swim Meets - Women Are Human

World Sports Body Restricts Trans-Identifying Male Athletes From Women's Swim Meets - Women Are Human
By: Sports Posted On: June 21, 2022 View: 145

World Sports Body Restricts Trans-Identifying Male Athletes From Women's Swim Meets - Women Are Human

US — . Swimming’s world governing body has imposed a restriction on male athletes competing in women’s events in a move transgender activists are calling “discriminatory.” Several global sports organizations now say they are reviewing their transgender policies.

On Sunday, Federation Internationale de Natation (FINA) decided in a 71.5% vote to ban male athletes who “transition” after the age of 12 from competing in women’s swim meets.

An athlete group, a science and medicine group and a legal and human rights group worked together to research the subject before giving presentations at the FINA Extraordinary General Congress 2022 from the world championships in Budapest, Hungary. After listening to the three specialist groups, FINA members voted for a 24-page policy.

Female athletes who identify as transgender and use testosterone to masculinize their appearance will only be eligible to compete in women’s events if the testosterone was used for a period of less than a year, the testosterone was not used during puberty and blood serum testosterone levels drop down to average female ranges.

FINA’s new policy proposes an open category for transgender-identifying swimmers. A new working group will be dedicated to examining the best way of setting up the category.

“I do not want any athlete to be told they cannot compete at the highest level,” FINA president Husain Al-Musallam said.

The vote will apply to all swim meets starting Monday, June 20.

Sports watchers believe Lia Thomas will be the most immediately affected by FINA’s new transgender policy. The University of Pennsylvania athlete, who is male, ranked 554 when competing with male swimmers in the 200 freestyle. After switching to compete with women for his final year at university, the athlete fast became the highest-scoring swimmer at the 2022 Ivy League Championships, winning three individual events and breaking six records. The 22-year-old, who sparked a media frenzy and nationwide protests, previously expressed hope of competing in the 2024 US Olympic trials.

Transgender activist camps denounced FINA’s decision. The Human Rights Campaign (HRC) wrote in a press release on its website that the “policy is an example of swimming organizations caving to the avalanche of ill-informed, prejudiced attacks targeted at one particular transgender swimmer.” The transgender and queer organization called the requirement that “transgender swimmers complete their transition by the age of 12” an “unrealistic and effectively impossible requirement,” especially given recent state bans on medical intervention into childhood gender dysphoria. The HRC urged FINA to rethink its policy.

Former Olympic gold medalist and Title IX advocate Donna de Varona praised FINA.

“I’m very proud of FINA for spending months and months and months talking to researchers, looking at science-based peer review research on the impact of puberty on male bodies and what impact that would have if you are trying to mitigate your high testosterone and if you could ever do that,” she told “America Reports” on Monday.

“Lia Thomas, in leaving the men’s team … left an open spot that could have been filled …got on the women’s team and she did not just displace one varsity swimmer who trained all her life since the age of 10, but displaced three swimmers from competing and getting on the bus to go to the Ivy League championships.”

FINA’s policy will also affect the NCAA, which said in January that it would defer to guidelines made by national and international bodies.

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