HomeEquality and DiversityFINA Restricts Transgender Athletes’ Participation

FINA Restricts Transgender Athletes’ Participation

FINA Restricts Transgender Athletes’ Participation

FINA, world swimming’s governing body, has announced the vote to restrict transgender athletes from competing in elite women’s competitions.

As part of FINA’s new policy, they are working towards establishing an “open” category for transgender athletes.

The decision was passed with roughly 71% of the vote from members of the 152 national federations who assembled for a conference during the world championships in Budapest.

FINA’s new policy outlines transgender athletes are only eligible if “they can establish to FINA’s comfortable satisfaction that they have not experienced any part of male puberty beyond Tanner Stage 2 [of puberty] or before age 12, whichever is later.”

FINA president, Husain Al-Musallam, stated: “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,” he added.

Four-time Olympic gold medallist, Cate Campbell, addressed the decision made by FINA, saying: “My role, however, is also to stand up here, having asked our world governing body, FINA, to investigate, deliberate and uphold the cornerstone of fairness in elite women’s competition.”

“If inclusion is one of the cornerstones of sport, then the other would be fairness, fairness in regards to competition, especially elite, professional competition.

“Usually, inclusion and fairness go hand in hand.

“To create a place that is inclusive, is to create a space that is fair.

“Transgender, gender diverse and non-binary athletes’ inclusion in the female category of elite sport, is one of the few occasions where these two principles come into conflict,” she said.

LGBTQ athletic advocacy group, Athlete Ally, disagreed with the decision made by FINA on Twitter, saying: “FINA’s new eligibility criteria for transgender athletes and athletes with intersex variations is discriminatory, harmful, unscientific and not in line with the 2021 IOC principles.”

“If we truly want to protect women’s sports, we must include all women,” the organisation said.

Elsewhere in the swimming world, FINA have also announced world record breakers at the ongoing world aquatics championships will be offered NFTs.

An athlete who breaks a world record at the world aquatics championships will receive a US$50,000 prize.

The partnership with Budapest-based digital artist, Krizbo, will see an illustration of each world record broken made and awarded to athlete.

FINA president, Husain Al- Musallam, said on the NFT partnership: “We are very excited to use state-of-the-art technology to create a portable and permanent way of capturing athletes achievements in the pool.”

“We are delighted to be one of the first international federations to pioneer this concept,” he added.

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