FINA restricts transgender women from competing at the elite level

FINA, the International Swimming Federation, has banned transgender women from competing if they have reached puberty.

IN new policyannounced on Sunday by the federation, requires transgender athletes who want to compete in women’s competitions, or have never gone through male puberty, or suppressed it at the stage when physical changes begin to appear, or before the age of 12 age, which of the two occurred later.

Such athletes will also have to prove to the federation that they have been constantly suppressing testosterone levels ever since.

“We need to protect the rights of our athletes to compete, but we also need to protect the fairness of our events, especially in the women’s category of FINA competitions,” said Hussein al-Musalam, president of the federation. the statement said.

Leah Thomas, the transsexual woman on the swimming team at the University of Pennsylvania, has become the face of the debate on sport and gender identity. This year, she won the NCAA Women’s 500-yard freestyle championship after previously finishing 65th while competing in the men’s division. In March, she said she had ambitions to swim in the US Olympic trials.

FINA is considering an additional, open category, al-Musalam added, to give each athlete “the opportunity to compete at the elite level.”

FINA member federations voted in favor of the policy on Sunday, the organization said in a statement, adding that 71.5 per cent of members were in favor.

The policy was developed by a working group set up in November that includes athletes, scientists and medical and legal experts, he added.

The new policy will take effect on Monday.

This is an evolving story. Check again for updates.

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