Caitlyn Jenner declares Lia Thomas untrue winner of swimming championship

The NCAA champion has sparked widespread controversy over the place of transgender women in naturally born female sporting competitions

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Caitlyn Jenner claims transgender athlete Lia Thomas was not the rightful winner of a US women’s championship swimming race.

Ms Thomas is the first transgender athlete to win America's top trophy in university sports and her success has sparked controversy after critics said she had an unfair advantage.

Ms Jenner, reality TV star and former Olympic Gold medalist, is the latest to hit out at the 22-year-old.

In a Tweet she said: "Emma is the rightful winner! It's not transphobic or anti trans, it's COMMON SENSE!"

Olympic silver medallist and University of Virginia swimmer Emma Weyant was Ms Thomas’ nearest competitor and lost the race by half a second.

Caitlyn Jenner
Caitlyn Jenner
Lia Thomas receiving her first-place award at the NCAA swimming championships
Lia Thomas receiving her first-place award at the NCAA swimming championships

Upon receiving her second place medal, Weyant was met by applause, meanwhile, Ms Thomas accepted her first place medal to near silence.

According to Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, Ms Weyant is the true winner in the State of Florida, despite the result.

He said: "A male identifying as a woman was allowed to compete in and was declared the winner of the race by the National Collegiate Athletic Association and Emma was determined to come in second place."

The governor added that the NCAA's "actions served to erode the opportunities for women athletes and perpetuate a fraud against women athletes as well as the public at large".

Labour equalities minister Charlotte Nichols leapt to the swimmer's defence after her win and congratulated her on her achievement.

She wrote: "As a former competitive swimmer myself, indeed, I know full well how much training is required for a title like this.

"Anyone trying to diminish Lia Thomas' achievement because of lazy transphobia should frankly pipe down.

"Huge congratulations to her."

This isn't the first time Ms Jenner as addressed the controversial topic.

In 2021, she told the TMZ website: "This is a question of fairness. That's why I oppose biological boys who are trans competing in girls' sports in school.

"It just isn't fair, and we have to protect girls' sports in our schools."