Berliner Tageblatt - Transgender swimmer Lia Thomas loses legal case over ban

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Transgender swimmer Lia Thomas loses legal case over ban
Transgender swimmer Lia Thomas loses legal case over ban / Photo: © AFP

Transgender swimmer Lia Thomas loses legal case over ban

US transgender swimmer Lia Thomas has had a legal case against World Aquatics dismissed by the Court of Arbitration for Sport, swimming's governing body said on Wednesday.

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Thomas was attempting to overturn a World Aquatics vote in 2022 that stopped transgender women from competing in women's elite races if they have gone through any stage of the process of male puberty.

The 25-year-old, who in March 22 became the first transgender athlete to win the highest level of NCAA title, was attempting to argue the rules were discriminatory.

The Court of Arbitration for Sport panel found that "for the time being" Thomas is not eligible to compete in elite competitions through World Aquatics or USA Swimming.

"She is currently only entitled to compete in USA Swimming events that do not qualify as 'Elite Events'," according to the decision by sport's highest court.

World Aquatics praised the ruling, calling it "a major step forward in our efforts to protect women's sport."

"World Aquatics is dedicated to fostering an environment that promotes fairness, respect, and equal opportunities for athletes of all genders and we reaffirm this pledge," the governing body said in a statement.

"Our policies and practices are continuously evaluated to ensure they align with these core values, which led to the introduction of our open category," it added.

"We remain committed to working collaboratively with all stakeholders to uphold the principles of inclusivity in aquatic sports and remain confident that our gender inclusion policy represents a fair approach."

P.Anderson--BTB