FINA votes to effectively ban transgender swimmers in elite women’s competition – and create ‘open’ category | World News

Swimming’s world governing body has voted to effectively ban transgender athletes from competing in women’s elite races.

FINA will explore establishing an “open” category for them in some events as part of its new policy.

The move will require transgender competitors to have completed their transition by the age of 12 in order to be able to compete in women’s competitions.

The policy was passed with a roughly 71% majority after it was put to the members of 152 national federations with voting rights who had gathered for the congress at the Puskas Arena.

Transgender rights has become the subject of debate as sports seek to balance inclusivity while ensuring there is no unfair advantage.

The conversation around it intensified after University of Pennsylvania swimmer Lia Thomas became the first transgender NCAA champion in Division I history after winning the women’s 500-yard freestyle earlier this year.

It followed New Zealand weightlifter Laurel Hubbard last year becoming the first transgender athlete to compete at the Olympic Games in Tokyo.

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