Swimming’s international body, FINA, has ruled that transgender women, who transitioned after going through male puberty, will no longer be allowed to compete in FINA-sanctioned women’s swimming competitions. This includes the Olympics.
FINA made the decision based on research that showed biological males who transition after puberty still have inherent physical advantages over women, even if they suppress their levels of testosterone after transitioning.
FINA plans to set up a special open category for Transgender competitors.
The ban passed with 71% voting in favor of the ban, 13% abstaining, and 12% opposing it.
The Daily Mail provides more details:
Transgender rights has become a major talking point as sports seek to balance inclusivity while ensuring there is no unfair advantage.
The debate intensified after University of Pennsylvania swimmer Lia Thomas became the first transgender NCAA champion in Division I history after winning the women’s 500-yard freestyle earlier this year.
Thomas swam for the Pennsylvanian men’s team for three seasons before starting hormone replacement therapy in spring 2019.
A wave of doctors suggested Lia Thomas – and other trans female athletes – will always have an unfair advantage in some sports because they cannot undo puberty, when their biological male bodies were flooded with testosterone.
READ: Sharron Davies tells of her ‘pride’ in swimming as governing body BANS trans athletes from women’s races: British Olympian says sport is ‘standing up for fairness’ – after competitors who were born male smashed a host of female records