Trans Swimmer’s Challenge To Rule That Prevents Competing Against Women Fails

( – Transgender swimmer William “Lia” Thomas recently lost hes case challenging a rule that would not let him compete in women’s swim races. The decision was made by three judges from the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) panel on Wednesday, June 12. The judges determined Thomas did not have enough standing to get the case to the proper court.

In 2022, the racing league World Aquatics banned adult transgender “women” from competing in women’s races. It instead made a new category called “Open”, which transgender people could compete in. Thomas had asked the sports court in Switzerland to overturn these rules. He is claiming they are discriminatory, illegal, and oppressive to the individuals who identify as trans.

Thomas previously competed for the University of Pennsylvania and won an NCAA title. This was, however, outside the World Aquatics competitive system, where he is trying to change the rules. Thomas had not participated in any female events for World Aquatics, and was not a member of its member organisation, USA Swimming, at the time the legal issue started.

USA Swimming had granted Thomas’ request to self-identify as a woman in January as part of its athlete inclusion policy, but it lacked authority to change the rules regarding transgender adults.

World Aquatics welcomed the CAS decision, viewing it as a major step forward in protecting women’s sports. The governing body reiterated its commitment to fairness, respect, and equal opportunities for athletes of all genders. Swimming’s policy on transgender athletes has been followed by other Olympic sports, including cycling, track, and field, which also exclude transgender adults from participating in their preferred category.

The CAS judges declined World Aquatics’ request for Thomas to pay its legal costs. Even after the verdict, Thomas still urges trans women to continue fighting for their rights in sports. He believes biological differences should not prevent trans athletes from competing.

Copyright 2024,