Transgender athlete calls FINA’s latest policy on trans swimmers ‘unscientific’
A transgender athlete shared in an interview her disapproval of FINA’s latest policy that bars transgender swimmers from competing in meets, calling it “unscientific.”
Canadian cyclist Veronica Ivy said in an interview published by Reuters on Tuesday that FINA, the world’s largest swimming organization, didn’t do enough research on the topic, calling the new policy “unscientific”.
Ivy is a former UCI masters world track cycling champion, becoming the first transgender athlete to win the honor in 2018, Reuters reported.
“There hasn’t been a single peer-reviewed study on trans women competitive swimmers to show that there’s any competitive advantage for transitioning post puberty,” Ivy said in the interview.
“So to single out puberty as the break-off point isn’t based on any evidence, it’s not based on them seeing an advantage for trans women, they have only looked at cisgender male athletes compared to cisgender female athletes,” Ivy told the news wire. “That’s not how this works. When you’re trying to single out trans women, you need to study trans women athletes. … FINA has not done that.”
Ivy also criticized the organization’s plans to explore an “open category” for athletes, calling the move disrespectful toward transgender athletes, Reuters reported.
Ivy’s remarks come after FINA announced on Sunday that transgender female athletes are banned from competing in its respective tournaments, according to its new gender inclusion policy.
However, the new policy also noted that transgender athletes will be allowed to compete in swim meets if they received gender-affirming care before the age of 12 or at the start of male puberty.
“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 President Husain Al-Musallam said in a statement.
The controversy surrounding transgender athletes competing in swimming competitions centers on Lia Thomas, who became the first transgender athlete to win an NCAA Division 1 national championship in any sport earlier this year, causing conservatives to argue that transgender women should not be able to compete in NCAA events for women.
U.S. women’s soccer star Megan Rapinoe said in an interview with Time magazine that the recent ban on transgender athletes playing in gender-based sports is “disgusting.”
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