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Transgender Athlete Lia Thomas Barred from 2024 Olympics After CAS Decision

Daniel Kim Views  

AFP Yonhap News

Non-surgical transgender swimmer Lia Thomas lost her case at the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS), making her ineligible to participate in the 2024 Paris Olympics.

The Guardian reported on the 13th, “Due to the CAS decision, Thomas cannot compete in the 2024 Paris Olympics.”

CAS stated, “Thomas does not have the standing to challenge the policies created by the International Swimming Federation,” adding, “Thomas is not currently a member of the USA Swimming Federation. Therefore, she cannot compete in competitions organized by the International Swimming Federation.”

It was further added, “Thomas can only compete in non-elite division competitions until the regulations are completely addressed.”

Thomas is not only eligible for international competitions but also for elite division women’s competitions organized by the USA Swimming Federation.

In June 2022, the International Swimming Federation announced, “Only athletes who underwent gender reassignment surgery before the age of 12 can compete in women’s competitions.” It added “However, it does not mean we recommend surgery before the age of 12. It is not possible to undergo surgery at that age in most countries.”

This effectively prohibits transgender athletes from competing in women’s competitions.

Thomas was assigned male at birth and lived as a man named William before beginning the process of becoming a woman through hormone therapy in 2019. She changed her name and began competing in women’s competitions in 2020.

Thomas, who ranked between 400th and 500th in the U.S. by age when she was a male athlete, garnered attention by winning the women’s 500-yard freestyle at the U.S. college championships in March 2022.

A teammate later claimed that it was “horrific” sharing a locker with Thomas since she hadn’t undergone surgery to remove her male parts.

Since the International Swimming Federation effectively prohibited transgender athletes from competing in women’s competitions, Thomas filed a lawsuit as she has not been able to compete officially since June 2022.

Daniel Kim
content@viewusglobal.com

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