Transgender Swimming Ban Praised by Former Olympic Athletes – Newsweek

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Some former Olympic swimmers have welcomed a choice that successfully bans transgender ladies from competing in ladies’s occasions.

Members of FINA, swimming’s world governing body, voted on Sunday to adopt a new policy—efficient Monday, June 20—that bars transgender ladies from competing in ladies’s occasions if they’ve skilled any a part of male puberty.

Under the coverage, solely swimmers who transitioned earlier than the age of 12 will likely be permitted to compete in ladies’s occasions.

Sharron Davies, a former British Olympic swimmer, praised FINA’s transfer.

“I can’t tell you how proud I am of my sport @fina & @fina_president for doing the science, asking the athletes/coaches and standing up for fair sport for females,” Davies wrote on Twitter. “Swimming will always welcome everyone no matter how you identify but fairness is the cornerstone of sport.”

Another British former swimmer, Karen Pickering, wrote: “I was at the FINA congress for the presentation, discussion and vote and I can vouch for the care and empathy displayed for any athletes who won’t now be able to compete in the category their gender ID may align to.”

In another tweet, Pickering mentioned there was “much care and thought” for transgender athletes who might not be capable of compete in occasions however “competitive fairness to womens category must be protected.”

Former Olympic decathlete Caitlyn Jenner, a transgender girl, additionally praised the brand new coverage.

“It worked! I took a lot of heat – but what’s fair is fair! If you go through male puberty you should not be able to take medals away from females. Period,” Jenner tweeted.

But civil rights teams have condemned the brand new coverage, saying it’ll worsen the discrimination that transgender athletes already face.

“This sudden and discriminatory decision is a blatant attack on transgender athletes who have worked to comply with longstanding policies that have allowed them to participate for years without issue,” mentioned Joni Madison, the interim president of LGBTQ+ advocacy group Human Rights Campaign.

“This policy is an example of swimming organizations caving to the avalanche of ill-informed, prejudiced attacks targeted at one particular transgender swimmer. We urge FINA to rethink its policy and ensure inclusion for all athletes— including transgender women—and allow them to participate in sports free from discrimination, abuse and harassment.”

FINA mentioned it’ll work to determine an “open” class as a part of its new coverage.

“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 mentioned, in keeping with Reuters.

“FINA will always welcome every athlete. The creation of an open category will mean that everybody has the opportunity to compete at an elite level. This has not been done before, so FINA will need to lead the way. I want all athletes to feel included in being able to develop ideas during this process.”

Transgender swimmer Lia Thomas competes
FINA, swimming’s world governing physique, voted on Sunday to ban transgender athletes from competing in ladies’s occasions in the event that they transitioned after the age of 12. Transgender swimmer Lia Thomas of Penn competes within the 100-yard freestyle swimming race on the 2022 Ivy League Women’s Swimming & Diving Championships at Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts on February 19, 2022.
Joseph Prezioso/AFP by way of Getty Images

The new coverage comes after the talk in regards to the equity of transgender athletes competing in ladies’s occasions intensified after University of Pennsylvania swimmer Lia Thomas made history earlier this year as the primary transgender NCAA champion in Division I historical past following her win within the ladies’s 500-yard freestyle.

Thomas expressed her want to grow to be an Olympic swimmer in an look on Good Morning America final month, and hit back at those who say she has an unfair biological advantage.

Following Sunday’s vote, Thomas will not be permitted to compete within the ladies’s class on the Olympics.

Newsweek reached out to Thomas for remark although the University of Pennsylvania.

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