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Transgender Swimmer Lia Thomas Eligible To Compete In Ivy League Championships

An Ivy League spokesperson confirmed on Monday that transgender swimmer Lia Thomas will be eligible to compete in the upcoming Ivy League Women’s Swimming & Diving Championships.

Swimming World Magazine stated that a spokesperson confirmed the eligibility in an email sent on Monday to the outlet regarding Thomas, a biological male who identifies as transgender and previously swam on the men’s team.

“The recent rule changes do not impact Lia’s eligibility for this month’s Ivy League Women’s Swimming & Diving Championships as the effective date for this unprecedented midseason NCAA policy change begins with the 2022 NCAA Winter Championships,” the email said.

The championship is scheduled for February 16-19 at Harvard University.

A new NCAA transgender athlete policy defers to national governing bodies for sport eligibility. According to the report, “if the NCAA were to immediately follow a strict version of USA Swimming’s new rule, no transgender athlete would be allowed to compete in the women’s category prior to showing that her concentration of testosterone in serum has been less than 5 nmol/L for a continuous period of 36 months. Thomas did not begin transitioning until the late spring of 2019, so that may make her ineligible for NCAAs.”

The reason for Thomas being allowed to remain eligible for the Ivy League championship was not revealed. However, the recent change likely led to any changes being made at a later date.

On February 1, USA Swimming revealed its updated guidelines:

At the elite level, a policy has been created for transgender athlete participation in the U.S. that relies on science and medical evidence-based methods to provide a level-playing field for elite cisgender women, and to mitigate the advantages associated with male puberty and physiology. Elite athletes shall include any athlete who has achieved a time standard and desires to participate in elite events as defined in the policy.

The elite athlete policy will be implemented by a decision-making panel comprised of three independent medical experts and eligibility criteria will consist of:

  • Evidence that the prior physical development of the athlete as a male, as mitigated by any medical intervention, does not give the athlete a competitive advantage over the athlete’s cisgender female competitors.
  • Evidence that the concentration of testosterone in the athlete’s serum has been less than 5 nmol/L (as measured by liquid chromatography coupled with mass spectrometry) continuously for a period of at least thirty-six (36) months before the date of application.

Last week, 16 members of the university’s women’s swimming team sent a letter to the University of Pennsylvania and the Ivy League asking them to refrain from suing the NCAA over its new Athlete Inclusion Policies that would bar Lia Thomas from participating in the NCAA championships in March.

They stated, “We have been told that if we spoke out against her inclusion into women’s competitions, that we would be removed from the team or that we would never get a job offer.”

As The Daily Wire previously reported in December, Thomas crushed competitors at the University of Akron’s Zippy Invitational, winning the 1650 free 38 seconds ahead of the woman finishing second, winning the 500 free 12 seconds ahead of the woman finishing second, and winning the 200 free by seven seconds, setting new school records along with meet and pool records.

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