World Swimming Association Effectively Bans Transgender Athletes

FINA, the world’s top international swimming association, announced a new policy on Sunday that places new restrictions on biological males who believe they are females competing in swimming competitions.

“We have to protect the rights of our athletes to compete, but we also have to protect competitive fairness at our events, especially the women’s category at FINA competitions,” FINA President Husain Al-Musallam said in a statement.

Under the new policy, which will come into effect on June 20, 2022, biological males can only compete against women if they have had “male puberty suppressed beginning at Tanner Stage 2 or before age 12, whichever is later, and they have since continuously maintained their testosterone levels in serum (or plasma) below 2.5 nmol/L.”

For those who do not meet the eligibility requirements to compete in the men’s category or women’s category, FINA plans on developing “open” events in the future. The new policy states that “FINA will begin work following the final promulgation of this Policy to determine the feasibility of establishing an open category in Aquatics sport disciplines, in which an athlete who meets the eligibility criteria for that event would be able to compete without regard to their sex, their legal gender, or their gender identity.”

“FINA will always welcome every athlete,” FINA President’s said. “The creation of an open category will mean that everybody has the opportunity to compete at an elite level. This has not been done before, so FINA will need to lead the way. I want all athletes to feel included in being able to develop ideas during this process.”