Lia Thomas is still NCAA title holder; claim to the contrary started as satire | Fact check

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The claim: NCAA stripped Lia Thomas of her championship title after ‘unfavorable’ test results

An Aug. 30 Facebook post (direct link, archive link) claims a 2022 championship title was taken away from a transgender swimmer.

“NCAA has stripped Lia Thomas of her national championship due to < > test results,” reads the post.

It was shared more than 100 times in a day. Other versions of the claim were shared more than 100 additional times.

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Our rating: False

The NCAA still lists Thomas as the championship winner in 2022, and there are no news releases or legitimate news reports saying her title has been revoked.  The claim originated on a satirical website that says all its content is fictional.

No NCAA announcements revoking Thomas' historic 2022 win

Thomas in March 2022 became the first transgender woman to win an NCAA swimming championship in Division I.

There are no reputable media reports or NCAA announcements suggesting Thomas’ title has been revoked. Thomas remains listed on the organization’s website as the winner of the 500-meter freestyle race in her respective division that year.

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The claim originated from an article in the Dunning-Kruger Times, a satirical website that says all of its content is fictional.

There are elements of the article that show its satirical origin. It identifies the NCAA president as Joe Barron, though the organization’s website says Charlie Baker currently holds the title. The name is frequently used in the Dunning-Kruger Times’ articles.

Additionally, it says Thomas’ title was revoked and her case was referred to the Indiana State Attorney for “possible fraud charges,” but Indiana has nothing to do with Thomas’ win. She grew up in Texas, competed for the University of Pennsylvania and won the championship in Georgia.

It's an example of what could be called "stolen satire," where stories written as satire and presented that way originally are reposted in a way that makes them appear to be legitimate news. As a result, readers of the second-generation post are misled, as was the case here.

University of Pennsylvania swimmer Lia Thomas made history in March 2022 by becoming the first transgender woman to win an NCAA swimming competition in Division I.
University of Pennsylvania swimmer Lia Thomas made history in March 2022 by becoming the first transgender woman to win an NCAA swimming competition in Division I.

The NCAA did not immediately return USA TODAY’s request for comment.

USA TODAY has previously debunked claims the U.S. women’s volleyball team threatened to quit if Thomas was permitted to try out, that X (then known as Twitter) suspended one of Thomas’ competitors for posting about her and that the International Olympic Committee banned Thomas for life.

Reuters and PolitiFact previously debunked the claim.

USA TODAY reached out to several users who shared the post for comment but did not immediately receive a response.

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This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: False claim NCAA stripped transgender swimmer of title | Fact check