Strict rules when swimming for transgender people

If transgender people become women after their male season, they will not be allowed to participate in professional swimming competitions. This was decided by the International Swimming Federation FINA on Sunday. Only women who have completed the transition before the age of 12 will be allowed to participate. Women who change after the age of 12 can prove that their testosterone levels are ‘suppressed’ and that after that age, no physical changes occur as a result of puberty.

A majority of Confederation members voted in favor of the motion on Sunday. According to Hussein al-Musallam, the head of the federation, the move is aimed at “protecting the competitive rights of athletes” and “protecting the integrity of the competition.” The Swimming Federation wants to add a new category to professional competitions, especially for swimmers who identify with a different gender than they were born into.

This decision seems to be mainly related to the issue of American transgender swimmer Leah Thomas. Nationally, she finished 65th in the men’s race, but after making the move to the women, she became the national 500m freestyle champion with the college sports organization NCAA. He now wants to qualify for the US Olympic swimming team.

If Thomas goes to the Olympics as a transgender, he will not be the first transgender athlete. Laurel Hubbard represented New Zealand at the Tokyo Games last year as a weightlifter. She then competed in the women’s tournament. (NRC)

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