FINA Releases New Ruling About Biological Males Identifying As Females

As the world's most prestigious swimming association, FINA has recently announced its new policy regarding gender inclusion this past Sunday that further restricts any biological males claiming to identify as females from taking part in any elite swimming competitions.

This choice takes place in the wake of a vote from the governing body of FINA about the massively controversial issue of biological males taking part in women's swimming.

"We have to protect the rights of our athletes to compete, but we also have to protect competitive fairness at our events, especially the women’s category at FINA competitions," claimed Husain Al-Musallam, the president of FINA, as part of a release.

The most recent policy also attempts to consider an "open" category in order to give an option for transgender athletic competition.

"FINA will always welcome every athlete. 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," he continued.

The only biological males who would be allowed to take part in women's swimming because of the new policy would be any swimmer who has had "male puberty suppressed beginning at Tanner Stage 2 or before age 12, whichever is later, and they have since continuously maintained their testosterone levels in serum (or plasma) below 2.5 nmol/L."

The new policy would bar all athletes such as Lia Thomas from competing in elite swim meets. Thomas recently took the spotlight earlier this past year as the first transgender swimmer to take a victory at an event for NCAA Division I women's swimming championships.

Thomas has previously also stated plans to try and go through professional swimming in hopes of making it to the Olympics for Women's swimming. This brand new policy puts that plan and any like it for other swimmers into danger.

"I intend to keep swimming," stated Thomas in an interview with ABC. "It’s been a goal of mine to swim at Olympic trials for a very long time, and I would love to see that through."

Sharron Davies, a former swimmer for the U.K., stated to BBC Sport that she heartily agreed with the decision.

"‘Four years ago, along with 60 other Olympic medallists, I wrote to the IOC and said ‘Please just do the science first’ and no governing body has done the science until now,’" she stated.

"‘That is what [FINA] has done. They’ve done the science, they’ve got the right people on board, they’ve spoken to the athletes, and coaches. Swimming is a very inclusive sport, we love everyone to come and swim and be involved. But the cornerstone of sport is that it has to be fair and it has to be fair for both sexes,’" she continued.

One pro-LGBT group that put their support behind Thomas for women's swimming, Athlete Ally, spoke out again this brand new policy.

"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," tweeted Athlete Ally this past Sunday.


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