Fina, the group that governs swimming competitions worldwide, has minted new rules that exclude males who have experienced puberty from women’s competitions.
The swimming world has finally seen the light and acted to stop another Lia Thomas from taking root.
According to the BBC, the organization now says that men who have experienced puberty are not eligible to compete in the women’s competition. Transgender athletes will only be permitted to participate if they claim that they transitioned from male gender to female within the 12 year period.
Additionally, the group decided to establish new trans-categories.
Seventy-one percent of Fina’s 152 members voted at its general congress to implement this new rule.
Fina attempted to paint the new policy in a way that would be easy to put into practice. “full inclusion”But not at the expense of “competitive fairness.”
“Fina’s approach in drafting this policy was comprehensive, science-based and inclusive, and, importantly, Fina’s approach emphasized competitive fairness,” said Fina executive director Brent Nowicki.
Husain Al-Musallam from Fina also stated that this rule was intended to guarantee fairness.
“Fina will always welcome every athlete,” Al-Musallam said. “The creation of an open category will mean that everybody has the opportunity to compete at an elite level. This has not been done before, so Fina will need to lead the way. I want all athletes to feel included in being able to develop ideas during this process.”
Yet, LGBTQ activists saw it as not expanding participation but limiting transgender sportsmen, regardless of how Fina presented it. A left-wing group called the rule “the new rule” by Athlete Alley. “discriminatory.”
FINA’s new eligibility criteria for transgender athletes and athletes with intersex variations is discriminatory, harmful, unscientific and not in line with the 2021 IOC principles. If we truly want to protect women’s sports, we must include all women. https://t.co/MDjrWB6GrU
— Athlete Ally (@AthleteAlly) June 19, 2022
The rule, for instance, would have prevented UPenn swimmer Lia Thomas from running rampant through the women’s college record books and winning the NCAA championships this year.
— Colin Wright (@SwipeWright) March 17, 2022
The rules may have more profound implications if they are adopted by the Olympics. For most of the time, the Olympics follow the guidelines set out by each sport’s governing body. So, if the International Olympics Committee adopts Fina’s new guidelines, it will end Lia Thomas’ dreams of becoming a member of the U.S. Olympic team.
In a recent interview, Thomas exclaimed that transgender athletes are not a threat to women’s sports. Fina, however, clearly disagrees with Thomas’ assertion that transgender athletes are not a threat to women’s sports.
EXCLUSIVE: “Trans people don’t transition for athletics. We transition to be happy and authentic and our true selves.”
— Good Morning America (@GMA) May 31, 2022
Fina heard various scientists, doctors and experts speak out about how puberty gives clear benefits to male bodies.
“Testosterone in male puberty alters the physiological determinants of human performance and explains the sex-based differences in human performance, considered clearly evident by age 12,”Michael Joyner (physiologist, human performance specialist) said. “Even if testosterone is suppressed, its performance enhancing effects will be retained.”
“By 14 years or older, the difference between boys and girls is substantial. That’s due to the advantages experienced due to the physiological adaptations in testosterone and the possession of the Y chromosome,” added physiologist expert Dr. Sandra Hunter. “Some of these physical advantages are structural in origin such as height, limb length, heart size, lung size and they will be retained, even with the suppression or reduction of testosterone that occurs in the transition from male to female.”
Other experts also noted that new transgender classifications would enable transgender athletes compete, while protecting all-female category integrity.
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