On Saturday, only days after the NCAA announced new policies governing transgender athletes in college sports by claiming they would implement a “sport-by-sport approach” to rules, Lia Thomas, the University of Pennsylvania swimmer on the women’s team formerly known as Will Thomas, won the women’s 100m and 200m freestyle races in a meet against Harvard University women’s swimming team.
The NCAA stated on Wednesday that the standards for transgender athletes in college sports would be set by the national governing body of a sport or by the International Olympic Committee (IOC). Last July, IOC medical and science director Richard Budgett claimed that “everyone agrees that trans women are women.”
“There are lots of aspects of physiology and anatomy, and the mental side, that contribute to an elite performance,” Budgett continued. “ It’s very difficult to say, ‘yes, she has an advantage because she went through male puberty,’ when there’s so many other factors to take into account,” the medical and science director added. “It’s not simple. Each sport has to make their own assessment depending on the physiology of that sport so that they can ensure there is fair competition, but also the inclusion of everyone – whether they’re male or female – so they are able to take part in the sport they love.”
“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,” The Daily Wire reported.
On January 8, Thomas swam a race in which Thomas’ time was suspiciously slower than previous times, permitting Iszac Henig, a Yale swimmer who is biologically female but identifies as male, to win.
That prompted a young woman who is on Penn’s swim team with Thomas to surmise in an interview with Outkick that Thomas and Henig colluded before the race in order for Henig to win and thus disprove the assumption that Thomas, as a biological male, could not be beaten by a biological female competitor.
The swimmer, who preferred to remain anonymous out of fear from activists, told Outkick, “Looking at [Lia’s] time, I don’t think she was trying. I know they’re friends and I know they were talking before the meet. I think she let her win to prove the point that, ‘Oh see, a female-to-male beat me.’” Asked if she thought Thomas and Henig had colluded, she replied, “I do. I can’t say for sure, but I wouldn’t be shocked if I found out that was 100% true.”
Outkick noted, “In the 100 freestyle race, Henig finished with a time of 49.57; Thomas touched the wall in 52.84. During a November tri-meet with Princeton and Cornell, Thomas swam the 100 freestyle in 49.42.”
Thomas’ teammate also noted that in the January 8 200 freestyle race, Thomas only won by two seconds. She stated, “I was on deck and said to a friend, ‘She’s literally not trying.’ You could just tell. It was blatantly obvious. I was watching the 200 free and she was literally keeping pace with the other girls.”
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