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Top NewsFINA, The World Swimming Governing Body, Has Voted To...

FINA, The World Swimming Governing Body, Has Voted To Restrict Transgender Athletes From Competing


Transgender athletes will only be allowed to compete in women’s events under the new FINA rules if they completed their transition before the age of 12.
Only those transgender athletes who completed their transition before the age of 12 will be allowed to compete in women’s events, as decided by FINA, the governing body of swimming around the world, which voted 71.5 percent in favour of new rules on transgender athletes. As of Monday, the new regulations will be applied to each and every competition.
The new regulations were implemented in response to a controversy that has arisen regarding the perceived advantage that transgender women have over biological women, as well as the subsequent effect that this has on the integrity of women’s sports. At the level of the governing body, the calls for changes to policy have centered around the testosterone levels of transgender women and exactly how long it takes for the anticipated adaptations in muscle mass, strength, and power to take place.

FINA, The World Swimming Governing Body, Has Voted To Restrict Transgender Athletes From Competing

Despite the fact that the new policy prevents transgender women from participating in the elite competition — most notably the University of Pennsylvania swimmer Lia Thomas — the new policy calls for the establishment of a category known as “open competition,” which would make exceptions for transgender women who do not satisfy the new requirements and would allow them to compete.

“Nobody really understands how things are going to play out here. And in order to figure out how it would function, we need to involve a wide variety of people, including athletes who identify as transgender “According to FINA president Husain Al-spokesman, Musallam’s James Pearce, who spoke with the Associated Press. “Therefore, there are no specifics regarding how that would operate. The open category is something that we are going to begin talking about beginning tomorrow.”

After listening to presentations from three specialist groups — an athlete group, a science and medicine group, and a legal and human rights group — who have been working together to formulate the policy, FINA voted on the issue. The International Olympic Committee (IOC) provided some new recommendations on the subject of transgender women back in November of last year, which sparked the beginning of this line of work.

Even though testosterone levels had been the primary focus of such issues up until that point, the IOC’s new advice called for evidence as to when and where a performance advantage exists.

When Thomas, an Olympic hopeful who is transgender, won the NCAA swimming championship in March for the 500-yard freestyle, the topic of transgender women competing in swimming was brought to light.


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