Sporting associations have tightened rules regarding transgender athletes competing in women’s sports in 2023, drawing complaints from LGBT activists.
The issue of men competing in women’s sports has received considerable scrutiny amid instances such as Laurel Hubbard, a biological male, competing against women in the weightlifting events during the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo, as well as University of Pennsylvania swimmer Lia Thomas’s participation in the 2022 NCAA championships, where the biological male won the 500-yard women’s final and placed highly in other events. The international governing bodies for cricket, fishing and track and field barred biological males from competing in women’s events in 2023, following a similar decision by the international governing body for competitive swimming in 2022.
An organization of female athletes sent a letter Thursday to the National Collegiate Athletic Association, demanding that the NCAA reverse its policy of allowing male athletes who identify as women to compete on women’s teams, or face legal action.
A group of current and former collegiate and professional female athletes also protested Thursday outside the NCAA convention in San Antonio, after the Independent Council on Women’s Sports, or ICONS, sent the letter.
Dozens of athletic competitions for women and girls have been upended by the participation of males identifying as transgender women, who benefit from a host of biological advantages over female competitors, a Daily Caller News Foundation investigation found.
Transgender-identified males have competed in a variety of women’s athletic competitions, from school sports for young children to top college events and Olympic competitions. Differences in an average woman’s strength, stamina and physique compared to the average male are sustained even when a male undergoes testosterone suppression, according to the Sports Councils’ Equality Group.
Georgia Republican candidate for the U.S. Senate Herschel Walker blasts allowing biological men to compete against women in sports in a new runoff election campaign ad that features former University of Kentucky swimmer Riley Gaines.
Gaines tied with transgender athlete Lia Thomas for fifth place in the women’s 200-yard freestyle finals during this year’s NCAA championships, but was not awarded the fifth-place trophy.
University of Pennsylvania transgender swimmer Lia Thomas won the 500 free event at the NCAA Women’s Championships by 1.75 seconds Thursday.
In first place, Thomas swam finished at 4:33.24, according to results published on swimmeetresults.tech. The three runners-up swam 4:34.99, 4:35.92 and 4:36.18.
Conflict and distrust between athletes has shaken the University of Pennsylvania women’s swim team as transgender swimmer Lia Thomas dominates the sport at the national level, according to Sports Illustrated.
Several people affiliated with the team spoke to Sports Illustrated under the condition that their names not be used, the outlet said. “I’m not about to be labeled as transphobic,” one swimmer reportedly said.
Team leadership has supported Thomas competing against women, and the school’s athletic director told female swimmers who were upset about competing against a biological male to consider going to therapy through the campus counseling program, according to Sports Illustrated.
Transgender swimmer Lia Thomas won an Ivy League Championship in the women’s 500-yard freestyle event Thursday, beating most of her competitors by about one lap, according to multiple sources.
Thomas, who competed on the University of Pennsylvania men’s team for three years before adopting a transgender identity, beat the second-place 500 free swimmer by seven and a half seconds and the third-place swimmer by more than ten seconds, according to an event summary.
Sixteen women on the University of Pennsylvania swim team said their transgender teammate, Lia Thomas, should not be allowed to compete in the women’s category, The Washington Post reported.
The teammates sent a letter to the university and to Ivy League officials asking that they not take legal action against new NCAA rules which would block Thomas from competing in the 2022 championships, according to the Post. The women said they supported Thomas’s decision to live as a transgender woman, but they say “the biology of sex is a separate issue from someone’s gender identity.”
Dorian Rhea Debussy, a member of the NCAA Division III LGBTQ OneTeam program, recently resigned over the organization’s updated policy on transgender athletes.
“I’m deeply troubled by what appears to be a devolving level of active, effective, committed, and equitable support for gender diverse student-athletes within the NCAA’s leadership,” Debussy said, according to Fox News, after the national organization adopted a “sport-by-sport” approach to determining transgender athlete’s eligibility to compete on opposite-gender teams.
According to Fox News, Debussy said, “As a non-binary, trans-feminine person, I can no longer, in good conscience, maintain my affiliation with the NCAA.”
A female swimmer at the University of Pennsylvania said the school brushed off her and her teammates’ concerns about sharing locker rooms with a male swimmer, the Daily Mail reported.
She and her teammates felt uncomfortable sharing locker rooms with transgender swimmer Lia Thomas, who has male body parts and is reportedly “attracted to women,” according to the Daily Mail.
The NCAA changed its policy on transgender athlete participation Wednesday as concern mounted over swimmer Lia Thomas, a biological male, identifying as a woman and immediately dominating the sport.
Transgender athletes will need to show testosterone levels within their sport’s approved range four weeks before championship selections, according to the new rules. They will need to document their testosterone levels at the beginning of the season as well as four weeks before championship selections in the coming academic year.