World Swimming Body bans transgender athletes from women’s events

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The world swimming body FINA has banned transgender athletes from competing in women’s events reports The Associated Press, with more than 71.5% of members voting for a new “gender inclusion policy” that permits only swimmers who transitioned before age 12 to compete in women’s events.

“This is not saying that people are encouraged to transition by the age of 12. It’s what the scientists are saying, that if you transition after the start of puberty, you have an advantage, which is unfair,” James Pearce, who is the spokesperson for FINA president Husain Al-Musallam, told The Associated Press.

“They’re not saying everyone should transition by age 11, that’s ridiculous. You can’t transition by that age in most countries and hopefully you wouldn’t be encouraged to. Basically, what they’re saying is that it is not feasible for people who have transitioned to compete without having an advantage.”

FINA’s new 24-page policy also includes proposals for a new “open competition” category. FINA said it was setting up “a new working group that will spend the next six months looking at the most effective ways to set up this new category.”

“No one quite knows how this is going to work. And we need to include a lot of different people, including transgender athletes, to work out how it would work. So there are no details of how that would work. The open category is something that will start being discussed tomorrow,” Pearce said.

YOU CAN READ THE REVISED GENDER INCLUSION POLICY HERE