Two sports have banned trans identified males from competing in female sport categories. The sports are British Rowing and the World swimming association called FINA.
FINA’s guidelines say that anyone who has not transitioned to a woman by the age of 12 cannot participate in women’s categories. This disturbingly opens the possibility that children under 12 could transition just to qualify and wrongly asserts that puberty is the only factor which advantages a male body.
“This is not saying that people are encouraged to transition by the age of 12. It’s what the scientists are saying, that if you transition after the start of puberty, you have an advantage, which is unfair,” James Pearce, who is the spokesperson for FINA president Husain Al-Musallam, told The Associated Press.
FINA proposed an open competition category for anyone who does not want to compete in their biological gender category. The new policy would have prevented University of Pennsylvania athlete Lia Thomas from competing in women’s events.
World Rowing did not make any age distinction for puberty in its new rules. Only rowers born female will be allowed to represent Great Britain in international events. More than 80% of board members were in favor of this decision.