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International swimming’s governing body FINA on Sunday approved new policies for transgender athletes.
The new policy would allow transgender swimmers to compete in women’s events who made the transition before the age of 12. This policy will come into effect from Monday.
FINA members voted 71.5% in favor of the new “gender inclusion policy”.
“We have to protect the rights of our athletes to compete, but we also have to protect competitive fairness in our events, especially the women’s section in FINA competitions,” FINA President Hussein Al-Musallam said in a statement.
“FINA will always welcome every athlete. The creation of an open category will mean that everyone has the opportunity to compete at the elite level. This has not been done before, so FINA will need to lead. I want to That all athletes feel includes being able to develop ideas during this process.”
The new rules were highlighted by the sudden appearance of Leah Thomas in the pool during the NCAA Swimming season. Thomas became the first transgender swimmer in the past few months to win the NCAA and Ivy League championships. She swam for the University of Pennsylvania.