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Lia Thomas May Be Out Of NCAA Championships After New USA Swimming Rule
Lia Thomas of the Pennsylvania Quakers gets set to compete in a freestyle event during a tri-meet against the Yale Bulldogs and the Dartmouth Big Green at Sheerr Pool on the campus of the University of Pennsylvania on January 8, 2022 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
Hunter Martin/Getty Images

University of Pennsylvania swimmer Lia Thomas, formerly known as Will Thomas, may be barred from competing in the NCAA championships in Atlanta in March after USA Swimming updated its rules.

On Tuesday, USA Swimming announced that competitors in women’s events must have recorded low levels of testosterone for 36 months; the previous rule required only one year. Thomas began “transitioning” in May 2019.

USA Swimming wrote:

At the elite level, a policy has been created for transgender athlete participation in the U.S. that relies on science and medical evidence-based methods to provide a level-playing field for elite cisgender women, and to mitigate the advantages associated with male puberty and physiology. Elite athletes shall include any athlete who has achieved a time standard and desires to participate in elite events as defined in the policy.

The elite athlete policy will be implemented by a decision-making panel comprised of three independent medical experts and eligibility criteria will consist of:

  • Evidence that the prior physical development of the athlete as a male, as mitigated by any medical intervention, does not give the athlete a competitive advantage over the athlete’s cisgender female competitors.
  • Evidence that the concentration of testosterone in the athlete’s serum has been less than 5 nmol/L (as measured by liquid chromatography coupled with mass spectrometry) continuously for a period of at least thirty-six (36) months before the date of application.

Mount Sinai Hospital states that normal measurements from a testosterone test are “Male: 300 to 1,000 nanograms per deciliter (ng/dL) or 10 to 35 nanomoles per liter (nmol/L)” and “Female: 15 to 70 ng/dL or 0.5 to 2.4 nmol/L.”

Jennifer C. Braceras, director of Independent Women’s Law Center, stated, according to The Daily Mail:

USA Swimming’s insistence that there is some way to eliminate the athletic advantage that post-pubescent males have over females denies science. But it also ignores the fact that this is not only about fair competition – it is also about equal opportunity to compete at all. Allowing male-bodied athletes to compete on limited roster teams inevitably means that there are fewer opportunities for female athletes (to be recruited, to receive a scholarship, or to participate in competitions).

Caitlyn Jenner, formerly known as Bruce Jenner, who won the gold medal in the decathlon in the 1976 Olympics, said in mid-January of Thomas :

I’ve said from the beginning, biological boys should not be playing in women’s sports. We need to protect women’s sports. First of all, I respect her decision to live her life authentically. 100 percent. But, that also comes with responsibility and some integrity. I don’t know why she’s doing this.

Jenner added that Thomas “is also not good for women’s sports. It’s unfortunate that this is happening. I don’t know why she’s doing it. She knows when she’s swimming she’s beating the competition by two laps. She was born as a biological boy. She was raised as a biological boy. Her cardiovascular system is bigger. Her respiratory system is bigger. Her hands are bigger. She can swim faster. That’s a known. All of this is woke world that we’re living in right now is not working. I feel sorry for the other athletes that are out there, especially at Penn or anyone she’s competing against, because in the woke world you have to say, ‘Oh my gosh, this is great.’ No it’s not.”

In early December, Thomas utterly crushed the women competing with Thomas at the University of Akron’s Zippy Invitational, winning the 1650 free by a gargantuan 38 seconds ahead of the young woman finishing second, winning the 500 free by a whopping twelve seconds ahead of the woman finishing second, and winning the 200 free by a still-huge seven seconds, setting new Penn records along with meet and pool records.

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