Caitlyn Jenner wades in on trans row after swimming ban: ‘What’s fair is fair’

Swimming's world governing body made the decision to ban trans athletes from female races over the weekend

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Caitlyn Jenner has backed the decision by swimming’s world governing body to ban transgender athletes who have gone through puberty from competing in women’s events.

FINA made the decision to ban trans athletes following a congress in Budapest, Hungary over the weekend.

Instead, the body said it will look into setting up an open category in which athletes can compete irrespective of their sex or gender identity.

Caitlyn Jenner
Caitlyn Jenner

The row was heightened after Lia Thomas became the first transgender swimmer to win a major US national college title in March.

Speaking after the decision to ban trans swimmers from events, Jenner, who is trans herself, said on Twitter: “It worked! I took a lot of heat - but what’s fair is fair!

“If you go through male puberty you should not be able to take medals away from females. Period.”

While Culture Secretary Nadine Dorries has urged other sports to follow the example of FINA and bar transgender athletes who have gone through puberty from competing in women’s events.

The row was heightened after Lia Thomas became the first transgender swimmer to win a major US national college title
The row was heightened after Lia Thomas became the first transgender swimmer to win a major US national college title

Ms Dorries welcomed the move and indicated she is already in the process of bringing together leaders of other sports with a view to establishing similar parameters across the board.

She said that FINA had made “absolutely the right decision”, adding: “I have been of the opinion that FINA came to today for a long time and have discussed this with my own department and established a policy.

“We’re about to have a round table with all of the sports’ governing bodies. It is just unacceptable that trans women compete in women’s sport,” she told LBC Radio.

FINA’s announcement comes two weeks after cycling’s governing body, the UCI, voted to double the period of time before a rider transitioning from male to female can compete.

FINA president Husain Al-Musallam said: “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’s 34-page policy document clarifies that male-to-female transgender athletes are still eligible to compete in the women’s category “provided they have not experienced any part of male puberty beyond Tanner Stage 2 [which marks the start of physical development], or before age 12, whichever is later”.