USA Swimming has released a new policy for transgender athletes in elite competition.
Biological men being permitted to compete against biological women in sports has become a heated debate in the US, particularly after transgender University of Pennsylvania swimmer Lia Thomas shattered women’s records after an unremarkable run on the male team.
In a press release about the changes, USA Swimming said that they acknowledge “a competitive difference in the male and female categories and the disadvantages this presents in elite head-to-head competition.”
“This is supported by statistical data that shows that the top-ranked female in 2021, on average, would be ranked 536th across all short course yards (25 yards) male events in the country and 326th across all long course meters (50 meters) male events in the country, among USA Swimming members,” the press release continued. “The policy therefore supports the need for competitive equity at the most elite levels of competition.”
Under the new guidelines, transgender swimmers will be required to provide 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” and submit 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.”
The previous policy was that biological men were allowed to compete on women’s teams after one year of “testosterone suppression treatment.”
However, the organization made it clear that the stricter guidelines for transgender competitors will only apply at elite levels.
“While recognizing the need for the aforementioned guidelines in elite competition, sport is an important vehicle for positive physical and mental health, and, for this reason, USA Swimming remains steadfast in its continued commitment to greater inclusivity at the non-elite levels,” the press release said.
The national governing body of competitive swimming said that “USA Swimming has and will continue to champion gender equity and the inclusivity of all cisgender and transgender women and their rights to participate in sport, while also fervently supporting competitive equity at elite levels of competition.”
As Timcast previously reported, Cynthia Millen, a USA Swimming official for three decades, stepped down last month in protest of transgender swimmers being allowed to compete against biological women.
“The fact is that swimming is a sport in which bodies compete against bodies. Identities do not compete against identities,” Millen said during an appearance on Fox News. “Men are different from women, men swimmers are different from women, and they will always be faster than women.”
“It’s horrible,” Millen continued. “The statement for women then is you do not matter, what you do is not important, and little girls are going to be thrown under the bus by all of this.”