Transgender Swimmer Lia Thomas' Olympic Eligibility Determined

NCAA SWIMMING: MAR 18 Women's Swimming & Diving Championships

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Transgender swimmer Lia Thomas' challenge against rules prohibiting her from competing in elite women's races, which would include the upcoming Summer Olympic games, has failed, the New York Post reports.

Thomas' request for arbitration with the World Aquatics governing body was dismissed by the Court of Arbitration for Sports panel, according to a news release shared on Wednesday (June 12). The ruling bans transgender women who have been through male puberty from competing in elite level women's races, while World Aquatics created an "open" category in which transgender athletes would be eligible to compete.

“The panel concludes that she lacks standing to challenge the policy and the operational requirements in the framework of the present proceeding,” the court said in its ruling via the New York Post.

Thomas, 25, who began transitioning using hormone replacement therapy in May 2019 and came out publicly as a trans women during her junior year of college at the University of Pennsylvania, argued that the rules were invalid, unlawful and discriminatory when she asked the Swiss court to overturn them in 2022. The Texas native became the first transgender athlete to win an NCAA Division I national title, which is outside the governing of World Aquatics, in the women's 500-yard freestyle event in 2022.

The judges said USA Swimming has no authority "to modify such scope of application" in relation to World Aquatics' ruling on transgender athletes. World Aquatics called the court's decision "a major step forward in our efforts to protect women’s sport.”

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