Fina, the world governing body for swimming, is welcomed by many female athletes, but limits transgender athletes’ participation in elite women’s competitions in a major decision that sets them apart from most other sports. I resolved that.
The new policy states that transgender women must prove that they “have not experienced any part of male puberty.” It follows the report of a scientific panel that found that transgender women retain significant benefits over cisgender female swimmers, even after lowering testosterone levels with medication.
As a result, transgender women will be able to enter the women’s category starting next week only if they have completed the transition by the age of 12 and have not undergone male puberty.
This decision means that swimming will be the second Olympic governing body after World Rugby and will introduce a ban on scientific evidence. Other sports use testosterone limits as the basis for allowing transgender women to compete in the women’s category. This promoted inclusion, but has been criticized for being unfair to cisgender women.
Fina’s policy was passed by a majority of 71.5% after being passed on to members of all 152 federations with voting rights gathered in the Budapest parliament. This decision is based on a report from the Transgender Task Force, which was established in November 2021 and consists of key medical, legal and sports figures.
Husainal-Musallam, President of Fina, said of this policy:
After Lia Thomas, a moderate college swimmer as a male athlete, was able to win the NCAA National College title in the United States earlier this year, there was widespread anxiety about the sport. Others argue that Thomas is a pioneer and that his success and identity should be celebrated, not limited.
As part of its new policy, Fina has promised to set up a working group to establish an “open” category for transgender women at several events.
Former British swimmer Sharron Davies said on Twitter: Woman. Swimming always welcomes everyone, no matter how you identify it, but fairness is the basis of the sport. “
Another former swimmer, Karen Pickering, said: The ID may match… but you need to protect the competitive fairness of the women’s category. “