The World Federation of Swimming has voted to ban transgender athletes from participating in women’s races once they have passed male puberty.
FINA, the international swimming federation, plans to create an “open” category for transgender athletes.
Under the new rules, transgender swimmers must have completed their transition by age 12 to compete in women’s competitions.
Earlier this year, Lia Thomas became the first known transgender athlete to win an NCAA swimming championship by winning the 500m freestyle.
However, her participation in the event was welcomed by protesters from Save Women’s Sports. while other athletes also criticized the decision to allow Thomas to compete.
A statement from FINA has now stated that transgender athletes can only compete if “they can demonstrate, to the convenient satisfaction of FINA, that they have not passed any part of male puberty beyond Tanner Stage 2 (the puberty) or before 12 years of age, whichever is later’.
FINA President Husain Al-Musallam said: “We must protect the competition rights of our athletes, but we must also protect competitive fairness in our events, particularly in the women’s category of FINA competitions.
“FINA will always welcome every athlete. The creation of an open category means everyone has the opportunity to compete at the elite level. This has not been done before, so FINA must lead the way. I want all athletes to feel involved in this process to be able to generate ideas.”
Former British Olympic swimmer Sharron Davies tweeted: “I can’t tell you how proud I am of my sport @fina & @fina_president for doing the science, asking the athletes/coaches and fighting for fair sport used for women.
“Swimming will always welcome everyone, no matter how you identify, but fairness is the cornerstone of the sport.”
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https://metro.co.uk/2022/06/19/transgender-athletes-banned-from-competing-in-elite-swimming-16854249/ Transgender athletes banned from elite swimming competitions