UPenn Trans Swimmer Defeats Harvard Women’s Team in Two Races

Lia Thomas, the transgender University of Pennsylvania swimmer who has beat women’s swimming records this season after formerly competing as a male, defeated Harvard University’s women’s team in two major races Saturday.

Thomas swept the 100-meter and 200-meter freestyle races against Harvard, finishing the former in 50.55 seconds and the latter in 1:47.08 seconds.

The second-place competitor came about a second shy of Thomas at 51.51 in the first race and
1:48.44 in the second race.

Thomas, a biological male, competed on UPenn’s men’s swimming team for three years before switching over to the women’s team after transitioning.

The athlete’s win comes only days after the NCAA modified its policies to allow each sport to determine its own transgender participation in similar fashion to the practices of the U.S. and International Olympic Committees. The policy revision will be effective at the upcoming winter tournaments.

Under the new policy, the national governing body for each sport will set that sport’s transgender rules. If there is no governing body for the sport, the sport’s international federation will determine the rules. If an international federation has no transgender policy, the American branch of a particular sport will adopt the IOC policy.

“Transgender student-athletes will need to document sport-specific testosterone levels beginning four weeks before their sport’s championship selections,” the NCAA said in a press release. “Starting with the 2022-23 academic year, transgender student-athletes will need documented levels at the beginning of their season and a second documentation six months after the first. They will also need documented testosterone levels four weeks before championship selections.”

The NCAA update does not definitively prohibit transgender participation but establishes broader parameters and defers decision-making first to the sports involved rather than the organization. Thomas is not expected to be disqualified from competing on UPenn’s women’s team. The college has promised to collaborate with the NCAA in line with its new policy.

“Penn Athletics is aware of the NCAA’s new transgender participation policy. In support of our student-athlete, Lia Thomas, we will work with the NCAA regarding her participation under the newly adopted standards for the 2022 NCAA Swimming and Diving Championship,” Penn Athletics said in a statement obtained by Fox News.

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