Transgender Swimmers Banned from Competition


Ezra, Writer

It wasn’t until the year 2004 that the International Olympic Committee (IOC) allowed transgender individuals to compete in elite sports. On June 19,2022, nearly eighteen years later, trans-feminine swimmers are banned from competing in elite swimming competitions.

The World Swimming Cooperation claims that those who transitioned after puberty have an unfair advantage against biological women. Some of the members of the International Swimming Federation (FINA) have decided to adopt the gender inclusion policy. This policy states that trans swimmers may compete if they started transitioning with hormones and/or puberty blockers before the age of twelve.

Depending on the state of origin, some states do not allow individuals to start hormones until they are at least sixteen years of age. Medical professionals state that it is “easier to transition through teenage years.” Which ultimately defeats the purpose of the policy.

Athlete Chris Mosier says that this is by far “the largest ban of transgender people in elite sports.” Some athletes are unsure of their futures in sports because of how many bans have been issued recently. The rugby league, a day after FINA, banned all transgender women from international matches, regardless of when they started their transitions.

A spokesperson for World Athletes tells CBC news, “If there is a conflict between fairness and inclusion in the female category, we will always choose fairness.” FINA, since the June 2022 ban has confirmed that there are no current transgender athletes competing at the elite level.