Sunday, August 7, 2022

The sport’s governing bodies are at odds over transgender participation, but Australia could take the lead

Swimming’s sweeping ban on transgender women competing in international women’s events is the polar opposite of the International Olympic Committee’s framework that suggests inclusion first and reviews on a case-by-case basis.

The sport’s governing bodies now feel pressure to take sides in a culture war, although experts warn that Australian anti-discrimination policies will prevent such blanket restrictions from being adopted here.

FINA, the international governing body for aquatic sports, announced its “inclusive policy” this week, leaving others calling it “exclusive”.

The policy reportedly cost the organization $US1 million ($1.45 million) for research and was reportedly designed to counter any legal or human rights challenge.

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Delegates from the extraordinary congress, being held on the sidelines of the World Championships in Budapest, did not see the 24-page document until 14 minutes before they were asked to vote.

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Of the 274 delegates, more than 71 percent voted in favor of the policy, 15 percent voted against it, and just over 13 percent voted not.

Transgender women can compete in international competition only if they transition ‘beyond Tanner Stage 2 or before the age of 12’ before they experience any part of male puberty.

According to the World Professional Association for Transgender Health (WPATH), this requirement is “unethical”.

Dr. Jamison Green is the chairman of WPATH’s ethics committee and a past president of the organization.

“Where [FINA’s] The current policy sits outside the realm of practice,” Dr Green told The Ticket.

“People don’t transition medically before the age of 12, it doesn’t happen. That would be unethical.”

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Lia Thomas’ Win at Intercollegiate Swim Title Puts Spotlight on Policy

Despite being founded more than 40 years ago with the mission of helping to formulate evidence-based public policy, only two sporting bodies have sought the advice of WPATH – the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) in the US and the World Anti-Doping Agency. (WADA).

FINA’s policy was handed down after focusing on NCAA swimmer Lia Thomas, who in March became the first transgender woman to win the title at the Intercollegiate Championships. Her winning time for the 500-yard freestyle was more than nine seconds off the record, and her time in other distances would not currently qualify her for the Olympics or world championships.

Lia Thomas’ performance at the US College Championships escalated the debate.,Getty Images: Rich Von Bieberstein / Icon SportsWire.,

“The associations that have issued their own rules that are deprecated at this point are going to fail, and I think they will have to revise those rules at some point and I hope it will be soon because it really Harming generations of people,” Dr Green said. ,

“It subsides and young children are the ones who suffer from this exclusion.

“They won’t be able to be part of their community, they won’t be able to share experiences with their peers, they won’t be able to learn the skills they need to survive, and it’s not just about being the strongest and most qualified, it’s about how we How do you come together?

“It’s one of the things that sport teaches us, and it’s very important to humanity.”

Kate Campbell’s comments criticized

Kate Campbell, Olympic gold medalist and chairman of the Australian Olympic Committee’s Athletes Commission, gave an emotional speech to FINA representatives ahead of the vote, which was widely praised in swimming circles.

“Typically, inclusion and fairness go hand in hand. To create an inclusive space is to create a space that is fair. The inclusion of transgender, gender-diverse, and non-binary athletes in the elite sport’s female category is one of the few occasions Where these two principles come into conflict.

“The discrepancy that inclusion and fairness may not always work together is one reason why this topic is so difficult to talk about.

“Usually, they are terms of absolutes that work together, yet science now tells us, that in this issue, they are inconsistent.

“I stand before you as a four-time Olympian, world champion and world record holder. I stand before you, as the beneficiary of fair, elite competition. Yet today my job is to explain the nuances of FINA’s transgender policy Nor is it to defend conclusions made by medical and legal professionals of greater intelligence than I am.

“My role is to stand before you, as an athlete who has enjoyed many, many years in this sport and who wants to continue to enjoy a few more years. To let you know that we want you to be part of the wider swimming community.

“We see you, value you and accept you.”

Campbell further states that men and women are physically different, which cannot be disputed and supports the recommendation of a separate category for transgender women.

Transgender woman Christy Miller, who has competed in several sports before and after the transition, says the situation is much more nuanced.

“Well, they didn’t see us, or accept us, or value us, because neither of us was in the room when they voted for us,” Miller said.

“I would have loved to be there and they could ask me anything. I don’t call anyone transphobic for asking questions.”

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