(6-19-22) FINA, the international federation recognized by the International Olympic Committee (IOC)
for administering international competitions in Aquatics, approved new policies for transgender swimmers which will go into effect on Monday.

FINA president Husain Al-Musallam said in a statement –

“We have to protect the rights of our athletes to compete, but we also have to protect competitive fairness at our events, especially the women’s category at FINA competitions.”

The “gender inclusion policy” will only permit swimmers who transitioned before the age of 12 to compete in women’s events. FINA members voted 71.5% in favor of the new policies. 

Transgender athlete who does not meet the eligibility standards may compete in “any open events” the organization could develop in the future.

Lia – Will Thomas

Lia ‘Will’ Thomas recently expressed that she planned to compete for a place on the US team at the next Olympics, but the new FINA rule will block her participation.

Thomas competed as a male at Penn until 2020, this past year he competed as a woman on the Penn team. Winning league and NCAA titles.

The Thomas situation spurred many states to develop laws that ruled against women transgender athletes competing in women’s sporting events. The impact of this new ruling could move other states to look at the FINA rules.