Lia Thomas loses legal battle, will not compete in 2024 Paris Olympics

by WorldTribune Staff / 247 Real News June 12, 2024

Biological male Lia Thomas’s hopes of competing in the 2024 Paris Olympics in women’s swimming were dashed on Wednesday when Thomas lost a legal case filed against World Aquatics (WA) at the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

Lia Thomas

The 25-year-old Thomas also remains barred from swimming in the female category after failing to overturn rules introduced by swimming’s governing body in the summer of 2022 which prohibit anyone who has undergone “any part of male puberty” from competing in the female category.

Thomas had argued the rules should be declared “invalid and unlawful” as they were contrary to the Olympic charter and the World Aquatics constitution.

In a 24-page decision, the court of arbitration concluded that Thomas was “simply not entitled to engage with eligibility to compete in WA competitions” as someone who was no longer a member of U.S. Swimming.

World Aquatics introduced its new rules after Thomas beat Olympic silver medalist Emma Weyant by 1.75 seconds to win the women’s 500-yard freestyle title at the 2022 NCAA championships.

In a scientific document that informed its decision, WA said swimmers such as Thomas retained significant physical advantages – in endurance, power, speed, strength and lung size – from undergoing male puberty, even after reducing their testosterone levels through medication.

The court of arbitration ruled that Thomas had no standing to sue WA’s transgender policy, with a key paragraph stating: “The panel concludes that since the Athlete is not entitled to participate in ‘Elite Event’ within the meaning of USA Swimming Policy, let alone to compete in a WA competition, which occurs upon registration with WA prior to a competition or upon setting a performance which leads to a request for registration as WA world record, she is simply not entitled to engage with eligibility to compete in WA competitions.

“The policy and the operational requirements are simply not triggered by her current status.”

World Aquatics hailed the decision as “a major step forward in our efforts to protect women’s sport.”

“World Aquatics is dedicated to fostering an environment that promotes fairness, respect, and equal opportunities for athletes of all genders and we reaffirm this pledge,” it added.

Your Choice