Historic swimming ban for transgender athletes
Swimming’s world governing body Fina will ban transgender athletes from competing in women’s elite races
The new policy was adopted with 71% of the votes out of 152 Fina members and was announced at the Extraordinary Congress 2022 in Budapest.
The new ban applies to athletes who have gone through any stage of male puberty.
This means that if transgender athletes want to compete, they must have transitioned before the age of 12.
The sports body will now work to create an “open” category for transgender athletes, with a team working on it immediately.
Fina Chairman Husain Al-Musallam says they are working on “protect the rights of athletes to compete” but also “protect the fairness of competition”.
Fina executive director Brent Nowicki says the policy is “Comprehensive, science-based and inclusive, and most importantly, Fina’s approach emphasized competitive fairness.”
Transgender participation has been a controversial topic in all sports around the world. More recently, the participation of American swimmer Lia Thomas has divided communities.
Thomas has always expressed a desire to compete, but this new policy will prevent Thomas from competing in the women’s category.
While some say transgender participation is unfair to competitive athletes, others argue that it is discrimination not to let transgender athletes compete in women’s events.
For now, this new policy is the most historic rule and regulation for transgender participation.