Lia Thomas, the transgender swimmer who has raised controversy for the enormous number of records she has broken since she began competing in the female category, was defeated in two events by Iszac Henig, a swimmer in the process of transition from woman to man.
The two athletes met last Saturday at the Ivy League sports conference of the US National University Sports Association (NCAA) in Philadelphia. Thomas, from the University of Pennsylvania, and Hening, representing Yale University, met in the women’s 100 and 400 free yards, where the latter emerged victorious. In addition, he set a 50-yard record in the same category. Nonetheless, Lia had victories in the 200 and 500 free yards.
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Hening, 20, publicly declared himself a transgender man in the middle of last year and underwent superior gender-affirming surgery, modifying his chest to achieve a masculine look. However, she delayed the start of her testosterone treatment in order to continue being part of the Yale women’s team, which allowed her to compete last weekend. Under NCAA regulations, hormone replacement therapy would have prevented him.
“As a student athlete, coming out as a trans guy put me in a weird position. I could start with hormones to align myself more, or wait, transition socially, and continue competing on a women’s swim team. I settled on the latter, “Iszac said in a interview in June for The New York Times.
Hening’s case has once again brought to the table the debate of the competitive advantage of transgender athletes, which had already made the news last month because of the several records of Thomas, who had competed before transitioning for three years.
With the results of this latest competition, the parents of some swimmers reiterated their dissatisfaction with the participation of transgender athletes and made a new call to the NCAA to take action. “A man has just crushed the women’s team,” one of them complained, speaking to the newspaper. Daily Mail.
The controversy generated weeks ago by Thomas even led a group of parents of some members of the women’s swimming team at the University of Pennsylvania to draft a petition to change the rules that allow trans women to compete in women’s competitions.
According to the British newspaper, last week several of Thomas’s teammates had considered boycotting Saturday’s event for their participation, but were concerned about being labeled transphobic and ending up expelled from the Ivy League championship in February. Meanwhile, last Thursday the University of Pennsylvania and the Ivy League they reaffirmed She publicly supported Thomas, noting that she has followed NCAA guidelines and, therefore, “will continue to represent the women’s swimming team in competition this season.”