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Transgender Swimmer Lia Thomas Out of Olympics After Being Dealt Fatal Legal Blow

Transgender swimmer Lia Thomas’ demand he be allowed to compete against women in the Olympics has been dealt a fatal blow after he lost a crucial lawsuit.

Thomas, 25, had asked the Court of Arbitration for Sport to overturn a ban on biological males competing against women in hopes of racing at the Games.

He first rose to prominence after becoming the first transgender athlete to win a NCAA college title in 2022 and has since been banned from competing against biological women in international events following a change in regulations.

World Aquatics changed its policies so that transgender women can only compete in women’s races if they have completed their transition by the age of 12.

Thomas argued those rules should be declared ‘invalid and unlawful’, and broke the Olympic charter and the World Aquatics convention.

In a decision handed down at the court of arbitration for sport, they concluded that Thomas wasn’t ‘entitled to engage with eligibility to compete in WA competitions’.

World Aquatics welcomed the news, hailing it as a ‘major step forward in our efforts to protect women’s sport.’

The group told the outlet: ‘World Aquatics is dedicated to fostering an environment that promotes fairness, respect, and equal opportunities for athletes of all genders and we reaffirm this pledge.’

They introduced their new rules after Thomas beat Olympic silver medalist Emma Weyant by 1.75 sec to win NCAA gold.

In a scientific document backing their ban on those who have ‘undergone any part of male puberty’, WA said swimmers like Thomas retained physical advantages.

They said that such advantages included endurance, power, speed, strength and lung size, even after reducing their testosterone levels through medication.

On Wednesday, the court ruled that Thomas had no standing to sue the transgender policy.

The debate over transgender athletes participation in elite sport intensified when Thomas became the first transgender NCAA champion in Division I history.

Thomas, representing the University of Pennsylvania, won the women’s 500-yard freestyle title in 2022, months before the World Aquatics ban.

Three United States female Olympic silver medalists were beaten by Thomas in the final.

Thomas swam for the Pennsylvanian men’s team for three seasons before starting hormone replacement therapy in spring 2019.

That led to claims that going through male puberty lent him a considerable advantage over female rivals by letting him develop bigger muscles.

Three months after him win, World Aquatics implemented a ban on transgender women.

US Swimming, by that time, had already introduced strict transgender regulations in March 2022, which critics said stopped short of a ban.

Thomas reportedly went to CAS court in September, before World Aquatics applied to have the case dismissed because he has not submitted himself to the jurisdiction of USA Swimming.

Under previous rules, transgender women could compete in the female category at the international level as long as their testosterone levels were below five nanomoles per liter over a one-year period.

In January 2023, World Athletics announced they wanted to tighten their policy but said their ‘preferred option’ was only to reduce testosterone levels to 2.5 nmol/L and increase the transition period to two years.

That led to a huge backlash from female athletes and women’s rights campaigners who wanted a blanket ban on transgender athletes competing against other women.

They argue that even with lowered testosterone levels, trans female athletes still possess an inherent biological advantage that makes competing against them unfair.

Following the backlash, World Athletics council members admitted there was ‘little support’ for their original stance during a consultation period.

The decision by World Athletics followed that of swimming’s world governing body, FINA, who previously announced a ban on transgender athletes from competing in elite women’s races.

Former Kentucky swimmer Riley Gaines is among more than a dozen college athletes who filed a lawsuit against the NCAA in March.

At the 2022 national championships in Atlanta, she raced against Thomas in the 200-yard final but was deprived of a fifth-place trophy despite ending up tied with the trans-swimmer.

The federal lawsuit centers around Thomas and claims that Thomas’ win and participation in the event represented a violation of Title IX, which gives women the right to equal opportunity in sports.

The legal action was organized by the Independent Council on Women’s Sports and filed in Georgia, where the 2022 NCAA championships took place.

The suit accuses the NCAA of violating the Fourteenth Amendment by ‘destroying female safe spaces in women’s locker rooms.’

The plaintiffs claim the association is allowing ‘naked men possessing full male genitalia to disrobe in front of non-consenting college women,’ – thus creating ‘situations in which unwilling female college athletes unwittingly or reluctantly exposed their unclad bodies to males, subjecting women to a loss of their constitutional right to bodily privacy.’

Wheeler also spoke about the anxiety she felt when she had to share a locker room with Thomas.

‘Never in my 18-year career had I seen a man changing in the locker rooms. I immediately felt the need to cover myself,’ she said. ‘I could feel the discomfort of the other girls in there.’

READ 30 COMMENTS
  • kcsparky says:

    HE is a MAN. HE will NEVER be a WOMAN. But HE can play dress up all HE likes.

  • nana says:

    Great, best news all year,

  • A. Michaels says:

    GREAT! Now go home and play with yourself not much of a man.

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