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Transgender Swimmer Lia Thomas Barred from Olympics After Legal Battle Dismissal

Transgender Swimmer Lia Thomas Barred from 2024 Olympics

Transgender swimmer Lia Thomas will not compete in the upcoming Olympics after her legal challenge against World Aquatics (WA) was dismissed. Thomas, 25, had sued the governing body over their decision to ban transgender women from participating in women’s elite races if they have undergone any part of male puberty.

World Aquatics had implemented the ban in 2022, which Thomas, the first transgender athlete to win the highest US national college title in March 2022, claimed was discriminatory. Thomas sought to overturn the ban through the Court of Arbitration for Sport (Cas).

However, Cas dismissed the case, stating in their 24-page verdict that Thomas was not eligible to challenge WA’s rules since she was no longer a member of USA Swimming. As a result, Thomas will not be able to compete at the Paris Olympics next month.

World Aquatics praised the ruling as a significant step in protecting women’s sports. In a statement, WA said, “World Aquatics is dedicated to fostering an environment that promotes fairness, respect, and equal opportunities for athletes of all genders. Our policies and practices are continuously evaluated to ensure they align with these core values, leading to the introduction of our open category. We remain committed to working collaboratively with all stakeholders to uphold inclusivity in aquatic sports and are confident that our gender inclusion policy represents a fair approach.”

Thomas expressed her disappointment, stating, “Blanket bans preventing trans women from competing are discriminatory and deprive us of valuable athletic opportunities that are central to our identities.”

Credit: Joe

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