The Ivy League has released a statement defending the University of Pennsylvania’s decision to allow male-to-female transgender athlete Lia Thomas to represent the university on the women’s swimming and diving team.
In a statement released on Twitter, the Ivy League wrote, “Over the past several years, Lia and the University of Pennsylvania have worked with the NCAA to follow all of the appropriate protocols in order to comply with the NCAA policy on transgender athlete participation and compete on the Penn women’s swimming and diving team. The Ivy League has adopted and applies the same NCAA policy.”
“The Ivy League reaffirms its unwavering commitment to providing an inclusive environment for all student-athletes while condemning transphobia and discrimination in any form.”
“The league welcomes her participation in the sport of women’s swimming and diving and looks forward to celebrating the success of all of our student-athletes throughout the season,” the tweet concluded.
Lia Thomas, formerly named Will Thomas, now identifies as transgender and has reportedly shattered women’s records across the board.
The University of Pennsylvania also released a statement affirming its “commitment to being a welcoming and inclusive environment for all.”
The statement reads, “Penn Athletics is committed to being a welcoming and inclusive environment for all our student-athletes, coaches and staff and we hold true to that commitment today and in the future.”
“As a member of the NCAA, Penn is governed by the policies of the national governing body. Lia Thomas has met or exceeded all NCAA protocols over the past two years for a transgender female student-athlete to compete for a women’s team,” adding, “She will continue to represent the Penn women’s swimming team in competition this season.”
“We fully support all the student-athletes and coaches in our swimming and diving program and look forward to the team’s continued success this season.”
John Lohn, editor-in-chief of Swimming World magazine, wrote in an op-ed arguing that the NCAA’s guidelines for the use of testosterone suppressants are “are not rigid enough and do not produce an authentic competitive atmosphere.”
“It is obvious that one year is not a sufficient timeframe to offer up a level playing field,” he wrote. “Athletes transitioning from male to female possess the inherent advantage of years of testosterone production and muscle-building.”