Four high school female track athletes in Connecticut have stood against the influx of transgender athletes seeking to compete against girls in school sports, likely setting up a defining legal battle of 2024.
The U.S. Court of Appeals rescued the legal challenge, Soule v. Connecticut Association of Schools, in December after a lower court dismissed the case. Now, the case will be heard in federal district court and will be a defining moment in the ongoing debate, which has been ramped up by a string of injuries to female athletes at the hands of transgender athletes in recent months.
World Aquatics, the world swimming governing body, announced Tuesday that it will set up an “open category” that will include transgender athletes, according to The Associated Press.
The governing body banned most male athletes from competing in the female division in 2022 following uproar over Lia Thomas, a transgender swimmer who won a national title in women’s swimming after competing in the men’s collegiate division for three years. The president of World Aquatics, Husain Al-Musallam, said an “open category” swimming event will take place alongside other races, according to the AP.
Missouri Gov. Mike Parson (R) signed two bills Wednesday, one that blocks biological males from competing in women’s sports and another that protects minors from experimental transgender drug treatments and surgeries.
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.
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.”
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.
Lia Thomas, a swimmer at the University of Pennsylvania, shattered records after transitioning from male to female and joining the women’s team.
Thomas, who is biologically male, competed for three years on the men’s team before moving to the women’s team after transitioning, the Daily Mail reported. NCAA rules require males to undergo at least one year of testosterone suppression treatment before they can compete in the women’s category.
Thomas’s top time for the 500 Free event in the male category was 4:18.72. Thomas won the 500 Free while competing against Villanova and participated in eight regular season events as a male in the 2019-2020 season.
The International Olympic Committee (IOC) recommended that sports organizations allow biologically male, transgender athletes to compete in women’s sports without lowering their testosterone levels.
The IOC stated that no athlete should be excluded from competition based on unverified, alleged or perceived unfair competitive advantage due to biological sex in a Tuesday report. The report says athletes should compete in sports based on their self-determined gender identity and should not be subject to “targeted testing” to determine biological sex.