FINA prohibits trans athletes from competing at women’s events if they go through any stage in male puberty
Culture Secretary Nadine Dorries has urged other sports to follow the example of swimming’s world governing body FINA and bar transgender athletes who have gone through puberty from competing in women’s events.
FINA announced its decision following an extraordinary congress held in Budapest. It also stated that it would look to establish an open competition category where athletes can compete regardless of their gender identity.
Dorries welcomed the initiative and indicated that she was already working with other leaders to create similar parameters across all sports.
LBC Radio spoke to her about the contributions FINA made. “absolutely the right decision”, adding: “I have been of the opinion that FINA came to today for a long time and have discussed this with my own department and established a policy.
“We’re about to have a round table with all of the sports’ governing bodies. It is just unacceptable that trans women compete in women’s sport.”
The move means Lia Thomas, who in March became the first transgender swimmer to win a major US national college title, will be ineligible to compete in the women’s category with immediate effect.
FINA’s announcement comes two weeks after cycling’s governing body, the UCI, voted to double the period of time before a rider transitioning from male to female can compete.
Husain Al-Musallam is president of FINA. “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.”
FINA’s 34-page policy document clarifies that male-to-female transgender athletes are still eligible to compete in the women’s category “provided they have not experienced any part of male puberty beyond Tanner Stage 2 [which marks the start of physical development], or before age 12, whichever is later”.
Female-to-male transgender athletes are eligible to compete in male categories. However, they will need to submit an application for high diving and waterpolo. ‘assumption of risk’You should consult a doctor about your physical ability.
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Former Olympic swimmer Sharron Davies, who has led a vocal campaign against transgender athletes being able to compete in women’s sport, also welcomed FINA’s announcement.
She wrote about social media. “I can’t tell you how proud I am of my sport for doing the science, asking the athletes/coaches and standing up for fair sport for females.
“Swimming will always welcome everyone no matter how you identify but fairness is the cornerstone of sport.”