Olympic gold medalist praises FINA’s new transgender swimming policy: ‘Very certain’

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Former Olympic gold medalist and Title IX advocate Donna di Varona commended swimming̵7;s international governing body, FINA, for approving a new policy that Limit the participation of transgender women Competing in high level women’s swimming events.

“I am very proud of FINA for spending months and months and months talking to researchers, looking at science-based peer reviewed research on the effects of puberty on the male body and if you are looking to lower your high testosterone. If you try, what will it be. And if you can ever do that,” said the 1964 Olympic gold medalist in swimming.US report” on Monday.

Penn transgender swimmer Lia Thomas talks to her coach after winning the 500m freestyle during the NCAA College Swimming meeting with Harvard at Harvard University on Saturday, January 22, 2022 in Cambridge, Mass.
(AP Photo/Josh Reynolds)

FINA announced its new “gender inclusion policy” on Sunday, allowing only swimmers who made the transition before the age of 12 to compete in women’s events. A new “open competition policy” was also proposed. The organization said it is “setting up a new working group that will spend the next six months looking at the most effective ways to establish this new category.”

The policy comes after University of Pennsylvania swimmer Lia Thomas made headlines for dominating women’s teams as a transgender athlete, raising questions of fairness after scientists determined that transgender female athletes who had normal male puberty during adolescence had gone through still maintain a competitive edge over their biologically female competitors.

FINA faces backlash over new ‘gender inclusion policy’ for transgender swimmers

alluding to 1976 olympics, De Verona recalled how the world “watched East German swimmers, who were pumped with testosterone, destroy our women’s team.”

“Many of those women still suffer from competing in an uneven playing field,” she said.

“But,” he added. “Swimming has been very definite in what he’s done, and he’s taken his time, and I’m very proud of him.”

Megan Rapinoe #15 of OL Reigns looks on before a game against the San Diego Wave at Lumen Field on April 14, 2022 in Seattle, Washington.

Megan Rapinoe #15 of OL Reigns looks on before a game against the San Diego Wave at Lumen Field on April 14, 2022 in Seattle, Washington.
(Steph Chambers/Getty Images)

FINA’s decision faced immediate backlash from LGBTQ advocates and athletes, among them American women. Soccer star Megan Rapinoe, who spoke on Sunday About inclusion of transgender in sports

Di Verona said that while she appreciates Rapinoe for his “passion and his humanity”, she feels compelled “to call him out on the fact that no one has lost a stage or opportunity.”

“When you’re talking about elite sports, you’re talking about numbers and opportunities and very few, and you work a lifetime for that. So … it’s unfair to those swimmers was, and so I would call Megan on that,” she said.

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“Lia Thomas, in leaving the men’s team, and he followed the rules, he followed the policy, leaving an open position that could be filled by age 10, but three swimmers competed to go on to the Ivy League championship. Displaced from doing it and boarding the bus.”