In March, Lia Thomas (23) swept her opponents in the women's 500-yard freestyle at the NCAA United States Championships.
And then he said:
-I want to be an Olympian in Paris 2024.
And at that moment the alarms went off in the offices of the International Swimming Federation (FINA), a concern that, like a fan, was going to spread to all areas of sport.
Some entities reacted. The International Cycling Union (UCI) raised the waiting period for transsexuals who have transitioned to women. For the cyclist, the waiting period is now two years from her transition, double the twelve months that were required before.
FINA has also reacted. He has now.
On Sunday in Budapest, headquarters of the World Cups that are being held these days, the Extraordinary Congress opened a vote.
Its members were asked: 'if a swimmer intends to swim with women, he must have transitioned before reaching the age of twelve. Who is satisfied?’.
196 of the 274 voters gave the OK. It was not a unanimous response, but it was enough to carry out the measure, since it rose to 71.5%.
What happens is that its reading invites confusion. There are those who wonder:
– So, to compete among women, are boys being encouraged to transition before twelve?
"We're not saying that!" It's ridiculous! –jumped yesterday James Pearce, FINA spokesman–. What we are saying, based on the views of scientists, is that the swimmer will gain an unfair advantage if she has transitioned after the onset of puberty (...) In fact, in most countries no one can transition at an age so early, and thank God no one would be pushed to do it. Basically, what we are saying is that most athletes who transition after puberty would enjoy multiple advantages.
The voters carried out the proposal based on three arguments: equal opportunities, ethics in sport and the health of the athlete. Representatives of the LGTBQ movement and skeptics questioned it. In Philadelphia, Dr. Alireza Hamidian Jahromi told the AP:
Why is the limit set at twelve years? The age of puberty is different for different people. The transition is based on three variables: social, hormonal and medical. Which of them observes the FINA measure? Moreover, what patient would transition before the age of twelve? That is practically impossible.
As an alternative, FINA speaks of an open category, a reading as abstract as it is imprecise in which a third gender could be included.