Under the agency’s new “Gender Inclusion Policy,” only swimmers who transitioned before the age of 12 will be allowed to participate.
The International Federation of Swimming (FINA) this Sunday prohibited transgender athletes from participating in women’s events and proposed creating an “open competition category”, collects AP.
Under the agency’s new “Gender Inclusion Policy”, only swimmers who transitioned before the age of 12 will be allowed to participate.
“This is not to say that people are encouraged to transition at the age of 12. It is what scientists say, that, if you transition after the onset of puberty, you have an advantage, which is unfair,” said James Pearce, spokesman for FINA President Husain Al-Musallam. It also confirmed that there are currently no transgender women competing at the elite levels of swimming.
The body announced that “a working group who will spend the next 6 months looking for the most effective ways to establish this new category”.
“Nobody really knows how this is going to work. include a lot of different people, including transgender athletes, to figure out how it would work,” Pearce said.
The new policy, which will come into force next Monday, was voted by 71.5% in an extraordinary general congress of FINA, after hear presentations from groups of specialists who worked together following previous recommendations given by the International Olympic Committee, which called for a shift in focus from individual testosterone levels and asked for evidence to show when a performance advantage existed.
For her part, Anne Lieberman, from the non-profit organization for advocates of LGBT athletes, Athlete Ally, communicated that FINA’s new “deeply discriminatory, harmful and unscientific” policy “is not in line with the [del COI] framework on equity, inclusion and non-discrimination based on gender identity and sexual variations”.
In March, swimmer Lia Thomas became the first transgender woman to win the USA National Collegiate Sports Association championship USA and her victory caused discomfort among different sectors that oppose her participation in women’s competitions.