Lia Thomas engaged in secret lawsuit to compete against women

Thomas competed since 2022, when World Aquatics introduced rules that forbade anyone who had undergone 'any part of male puberty' from the female category.

Lia Thomas engaged in secret lawsuit to compete against women
AP Photo/John Bazemore
Remove Ads

Controversial transgender swimmer Lia Thomas is reportedly engaged in secret legal proceedings to challenge a prohibition on biological males participating in women's competitions, aiming to qualify for the Paris Olympic trials.

According to a report by the Telegraph, 24-year-old Thomas has enlisted the services of the Canadian law firm Tyr to appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport in Switzerland. This legal move seeks to reverse the regulations established by World Aquatics following Thomas' achievement as the first openly transgender individual to secure an NCAA Division I title.

Thomas has competed since 2022, when World Aquatics introduced rules that forbid anyone who has undergone “any part of male puberty” from the female category.

Before this, transgender women were permitted to participate in competitions provided they reduced their testosterone levels.

Tyr claims its staff are “fearless advocates” who have been involved in “high-stakes and precedent-setting cases.” However, cases presented to the CAS are controversially conducted in private unless the parties involved choose to disclose them, as reported by the outlet.

In September, when Thomas brought his case to the tribunal, World Aquatics sought its dismissal on the grounds that he had not accepted the jurisdiction of USA Swimming.

Just a month before Thomas' NCAA victory in March 2022, USA Swimming implemented more stringent transgender policies. These did not amount to a total ban but mandated ongoing monitoring of testosterone levels in transgender athletes.

“It’s been a goal of mine to swim at Olympic trials for a very long time, and I would love to see that through,” Thomas told “Good Morning America” less than a month before World Aquatics introduced its own policy in June 2022.

According to the outlet, it appears improbable that Thomas' case will be processed in time to qualify for this summer's Olympics.

The Times of London reports that the cutoff date for the trials is June 4. However, for Thomas to have a chance to submit qualifying times in May, he would need to secure a favorable outcome in his case several weeks prior to the trials starting on June 15.

World Aquatics has chosen not to comment on the legal challenge.

Its executive director, Brent Nowicki, said in a statement to the Telegraph:

The World Aquatics policy on gender inclusion, adopted by World Aquatics in June of 2022, was rigorously developed on the basis of advice from leading medical and legal experts, and in careful consultation with athletes.

World Aquatics remains confident that its gender inclusion policy represents a fair approach and remains absolutely determined to protect women’s sport.

Remove Ads
Remove Ads

Don't Get Censored

Big Tech is censoring us. Sign up so we can always stay in touch.

Remove Ads