Fina has decided that transgender women may no longer compete in elite women’s competitions. This comes as transgender women had a significant advantage over cisgender women.
New competition rules outlined by Fina
Thus far, transgender women need to prove that they do not have many levels of testosterone in their bodies. In addition, if the women completed their transition over the age of 12, they will not be able to compete against cisgender women.
In essence, transgender women may only compete against cisgender women if they have not experienced puberty. Given this is the case, male-to-women competitors will be allowed.
“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,”
Thus far, Lia Thomas who won the US Open recently will not be able to compete in Paris. Right now the new rules prevent some transgender women from competing in water sports with other women. However, Fina has shared that there will be other elite competitions. That will allow transgender women to compete at a fair level.
Lia Thomas now unable to compete in cisgender competitions
According to CNN, in November 2021, conversations were had about the advantage transgender women would have against cisgender women. However, nothing came of it until January 2022.
Previously, transgender women needed to undergo testosterone treatment. As shared by CNN, this is compulsory to compete in competitions.
Back in 2017, Lia Thomas competed in the men’s division but soon joined the women’s division in 2020. In pleads to prevent Thomas from being unable to compete in the woman’s division, the University of Pennsylvania penned a letter to keep Lia on the team.
Unfortunately, Fina formed a working group to consider the statistical and scientific research to find whether or not transgender women had an advantage in sports.