FINA, the elite international swimming association has voted to restrict biological males from competing against biologically female swimmers. The governing board voted for the new gender policy, which went into effect on Sunday.
FINA president stated:
“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 recommended a new policy that would allow transgender athletes to compete. Per the association, “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.”
Some biological males will still be allowed to compete against women. To qualify, the male swimmer must have male puberty suppressed before age 12 or Tanner stage 2. The males must also continuously maintain their testosterone levels below 2.5 nmol/L.
Lia Thomas, the controversial male swimmer for UPenn would not qualify to swim against women under this new policy.