“I’ve been working with other elite women athletes and researchers and even the International Olympic Committee to get them to reevaluate their quick judgment on promoting a policy that really is unfair for the safety and promotion of women sports in that category,” Donna de Varona, 1964 Olympics gold medalist in swimming, told “America Reports.”
Transgender women athletes who went through typical male puberty during adolescence still hold a competitive edge over their biologically female competitors, and one year of testosterone suppression therapy as required by the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) isn’t enough to ensure fairness in women’s sports, some scientists argue.
The scientific community is conflicted over the issue of fairness in women’s sports as trans athletes like University of Pennsylvania swimmer Lia Thomas make headlines for dominating on women’s teams. Women’s sports advocates and parents at Penn have recently spoken out against the NCAA and its rules on transgender student-athlete participation, which require trans women athletes to undergo at least a year of testosterone suppression treatment before competing on a women’s team.
Thomas, who competed on the men’s team for three years before switching to the women’s team in 2020, has been receiving the treatment for nearly three years. She will compete at next month’s Ivy League championships and has already qualified for the NCAA championships in March.
Unlike Penn and the Ivy League, which both issued statements defending Thomas and the NCAA policy in recent weeks, the NCAA itself has yet to weigh in on mounting criticism over its transgender athlete policy.
The NCAA’s board of governors is expected to review the policy during a meeting this week and issue a statement at that time, a spokesperson told Fox News Digital.
De Varona said trying to equate biology with gender identity in sports does not work.
“It may work everywhere else, maybe before puberty, and there are some sports where there is no barrier to entry,” she said. “But Lia Thomas has been a lightning rod for this debate, and it is time that the NCAA, the national governing body which controls sport, especially Olympic sport, and international federations readdress this policy because we want fairness and safety in sports. That’s what it’s all about.”