A former teammate of transgender swimmer Lia Thomas has said that the biological male should be stripped of his medals, after the International Swimming Federation (FINA) has imposed strict new laws on transgender athletes.
The new rules will not completely disallow transgender athletes, but they must have “transitioned” before the age of 12, around the time of puberty, before they can compete in female swim teams.
This means that Lia Thomas no longer qualifies to compete against biological females.
The former teammate, who wanted to remain anonymous for fear of backlash from LGBT militants said, “I’m very hopeful about it,”
“I am incredibly happy that Lia Thomas will never be an Olympic gold medalist. I think that’s great. But this doesn’t actually fix the NCAA [National Collegiate Athletic Association].”
Thomas competed on the University of Pennsylvania’s men’s swimming team until 2019, until he realized he was not able to compete against his own sex and suddenly “came out” as transgender. Thomas had already gone through puberty long before he decided to switch genders and compete against women – beginning to take female hormones to become his “true self.”
Thomas made headlines when he came a close first in the NCAA Division I national championship in the women’s 500-yard freestyle event. Outrage ensued.
The anonymous teammate also said she “would love” to see Thomas stripped of his titles but doubts that the NCAA will ever do anything about it, adding that Thomas would likely be “grandfathered in” and called this “ridiculous.”
University of Kentucky swimmer Riley Gaines, who tied with Thomas for fifth place in the 200-yard freestyle final at the same NCAA championship, was bumped down so Thomas could be awarded fifth place and she received sixth.
“I believe Lia is not the fastest female in the 500-yard freestyle, therefore I don’t think she should be awarded as a female national champion,” Gaines is quoted as saying.
Gaines added that the NCAA “needs to take accountability” and follow FINA’s new guidelines, which restricts men’s access to female sports teams, which she says would be “a bold first step on behalf of fairness in women’s sports.”
“FINA prioritized competitive fairness which is more than any other large governing body has done thus far,” Gaines went on to state. “The only downfall is now that there is a set age to be transgender and allowed to compete as a female, will children be more swayed into transitioning without fully understanding what they’re doing and committing to?”
The former anonymous teammate added that she has concerns about the NCAA adopting FINA’s rules, which could encourage young boys to transition earlier in life – this has been a point of contention for a lot of people concerned about the well-being of vulnerable children.
“Socially, I don’t agree with that,” she said. “I think really, scientifically, this policy makes a lot of sense, and I’m also really happy that it’s also going to be put into place in water polo. Water polo is a very aggressive sport. People get their suits pulled down. They get clawed. I definitely don’t want to see biological men on women’s water polo teams.”
There is also the issue of privacy for female competitors who must share showers and locker rooms with biological men.