TRANS swimmers have been banned from competing in women’s races following a rule change designed to protect female athletes.
Global swimming regulator Fina says the move will make women’s swimming fairer and “protect the rights of our athletes to compete”.
Trans swimmer Lia Thomas will be banned from competing against other women after Fina announced it is barring transgender athletes who went through male puberty[/caption]
Former Olympic swimmer Sharron Davies has backed the move[/caption]
Transgender women will only be eligible to compete against other women if they complete transition by the age of 12. They must also have not gone through male puberty.
The decision means US male-born swimmer Lia Thomas has been barred from competing against women.
Thomas, who controversially won an American college championship in March, had previously hinted she would compete in the 2024 Olympics.
Prior to her transition, Thomas was ranked 554th in the male 200 yard swim rankings.
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She will be able to compete in competitions which have a new ‘open category’.
Sixteen of her Penn State teammates sent a letter to US college sport bosses pleading for her to be banned.
Some 71 per cent of Fina’s members voted for the latest rule change.
Ex-Team GB swimmer Sharron Davies, 59, welcomed the news.
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She tweeted: “Swimming will always welcome everyone but fairness is the cornerstone of sport.”
She thanked the body for “doing the science” and “standing up for fair sport for females”.
Fina consulted a panel of doctors and athletes.
US ex-swimming world champ Summer Sanders, 49, said: “This safeguards the integrity of the existing sports process.”
Sports Secretary Nadine Dorries said other sports should follow swimming’s example and ban trans women from competing in female competitions.
Instead, trans athletes should have their own separate category to compete in, she said.
She told LBC last night: “I think it is absolutely the right decision they have reached.
“It is just unacceptable that trans women compete in women’s sports.
“If you have been through puberty you cannot reverse the size of your feet, the density of your bone…
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“If you are born biologically female or male you cannot change that.
“You can trans to be a woman or a man and the government will support you… but you can’t compete in a gender you are not born into.”
Thomas, who currently competes in the women’s category at swim meets, has smashed women’s records[/caption]