FINA, the international governing body for swimmers, has now officially banned transgender athletes from competing in women’s elite swimming events with one condition.
Under new policy guidance, transgender swimmers must have completed a transition before the age of 12 in order to compete and must also maintain a testosterone below 2.5 nmol/L. Also, FINA wanted to be clear on their new ruling that they are not advocating for someone to transition by the age of 11.
Watch the video of former biological male swimmer Lia Thomas competing in 2021 Akron Zippy tournament. She completed the race by two laps before any other women finished.
“This is not saying that people are encouraged to transition by the age of 12. It’s what the scientists are saying, that if you transition after the start of puberty, you have an advantage, which is unfair,” said James Pierce, spokesperson for FINA’s president.
“They’re not saying everyone should transition by age 11; that’s ridiculous. You can’t transition by that age in most countries, and hopefully you wouldn’t be encourage to. Basically, what they’re saying is that it is not feasible for people who have transitioned to compete without having an advantage.”
Fina’s director said that the new regulations are backed by science and designed with the goal of making competitions fair.
Under the new guidance, famed transgender swimmer Lia Thomas is banned from competing against other females. However, FINA has decided to work on an “open competition policy” that will give a route for trans swimmers to compete.
FINA concluded by saying that the purpose was not to be divisive, but to make their matches fair.
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“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,” said Pierce.
Many people have been saying forever that having transgender women compete is unfair to biological women who have trained their entire life for a sport. Transgender women that have undergone puberty as a man generally have an advantage over women. Now, a major sporting agency has made a decision that is bound to make some waves. Do you think it is the right decision?