Trans Athlete Lia Thomas Banned From Olympics

( Lia Thomas, the trans-identified male swimmer who sparked a national controversy by competing against women, has been disqualified from competing in the upcoming Olympics, as well as in other elite sporting competitions after a court tossed out the swimmer’s challenge to rules regarding transgender-identifying athletes.

On Wednesday, June 12, the Court of Arbitration of Sport threw out a request by Thomas for arbitration by World Aquatics to reconsider a rule that bars trans-identifying athletes from competing against women if they underwent male puberty before their “transition.”

In 2022, Thomas stirred up controversy after winning a NCAA championship in the women’s category while competing as transgender. The event sparked widespread outrage from everyday Americans, women’s rights activists, and even former teammates, who are concerned about males encroaching on female sports and spaces, such as public locker rooms and bathrooms.

World Aquatics, based in Switzerland, is the officially recognized international federation appointed by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to administer water sports competitions worldwide. The governing body put the rule in place in 2022, which effectively banned men who identify as transgender from competing and also established an “open” category for athletes who identify as such. The policy bans any biological male who has undergone “any part of male puberty” or has failed to completely “transition” by 12 years old.

Essentially, the rule doesn’t completely ban males from competing, but only those who did not undergo so-called “gender-affirming care” during their developmental years as a minor, a practice that many states have already started banning. Such “care” entails blocking a child’s natural development during puberty, which advocates argue helps reduce “gender dysphoria” later in life. Thomas started hormone replacement as an adult, which he argues saved his life.

The controversy illustrates a larger conflict in American society at the moment between those who support limitless access to puberty blockers, hormones, and surgical procedures that irreversibly alter the body, and those who believe there should be heavy restrictions or outright bans on what they view as medical malpractice.

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