Swimmer Lia Thomas loses fight to compete as female in elite world competitions

Lia, formerly William, Thomas has lost one round in a challenge to rules barring men from competing as women in elite global competitions, such as the Olympics.

That’s according to USA Today Sports, which says it obtained a ruling on the matter from the Swiss-based Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS).

The group whose rules were challenged, World Aquatics, has proposed a major change: a new category of competitors where transgenders of either sex could compete together.

Thomas is the first known transgender athlete to win a Division 1 NCAA championship competing as if a member of the opposite sex. He swam on the women’s team at the University of Pennsylvania starting in 2019. His performance and victories stirred admiration as well as and criticism and controversy.

Thomas challenged against a World Aquatics policy barring men from competing in women’s sports and vice versa at “Elite Events.” Thomas argued it amounts to discrimination.

The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) dismissed the challenge by Thomas, according to USA Today. The newspaper said that the arbitrators “determined that Thomas did not have standing to appeal the policy created by swimming’s international federation, World Aquatics” because that policy doesn’t impact him at this point.

World Aquatics issued a statement to USA Today calling the decision “a major step forward in our efforts to protect women’s sport.”

Many women’s rights activists have stood against the trend of allowing males to compete as females, saying that it threatens women’s sports. However, advocates for transgenders say that athletes who wish to compete on the team of the opposite sex have a right to do so. They also argue that men do not have an inherent or unfair advantage over women when they compete alongside them.

To address the controversy, World Aquatics is suggesting creation of a third category: an open category where males and females could compete together alongside one another.

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2 thoughts on “Swimmer Lia Thomas loses fight to compete as female in elite world competitions”

  1. So common sense actually prevails in some peoples minds. Glad its the judges and not some loud mouth on MSNBC or CNN. They have their own women acting and dressing as males.
    Its just so screwed up to even allow ot in the first place.

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