Caitlyn Jenner labels new transgender athlete ban in swimming 'fair'
Jenner retired from sport in 1976 and began her transition in 2015
Caitlyn Jenner has come out to defend new rules which ban transgender women from competing in swimming events.
FINA (Fédération Internationale de Natation) announced the new legislation that bars trans women who went through puberty from competing in elite women's events on Sunday, following a vote among 152 members which was passed with 71% of the vote.
The federation declared the rule change "only a first step towards full inclusion" for transgender athletes; meanwhile, Jenner - a former Olympic athlete - also took to social media to show her support for the decision.
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. https://t.co/qqZq7gnt6g
— Caitlyn Jenner (@Caitlyn_Jenner) June 19, 2022
Sharing an announcement article from the New York Post, the 72-year-old wrote: "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."
The former Olympic gold-medal-winning decathlete has previously been vocal in her resistance to transgender women competing in cisgendered women's sports - comments that have also drawn criticism from other female athletes like Megan Rapinoe - retired from sport almost 50 years ago in 1976 and didn't begin her transition until 2015.
FINA's new policy specifies that transitioned individuals can only compete "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".
This means that swimmers like Lia Thomas, who has been a lightning rod for those against allowing trans athletes from competing against genders outside of the one they were born as, will no longer be able to participate in elite women's events.
FINA President Husain Al-Musallam said in a statement: "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 will always welcome every athlete. The creation of an open category will mean that everybody has the opportunity to compete at an elite level. This has not been done before, so FINA will need to lead the way. I want all athletes to feel included in being able to develop ideas during this process."
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