The governing body of world swimming FINA has adopted new rules for transgender athletes. FINA members voted 71.5 per cent in favour of the new “gender inclusion policy” on Sunday. According to the policy, only those swimmers who transitioned before age 12 will compete in women’s events effective from Monday.
The 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.”
The voting was done after members heard presentations from three specialist groups – an athlete group, a science and medicine group, and a legal and human rights group. The group had been working together to form the policy after following recommendations by the International Olympic Committee.
The IOC recommended shifting the focus from individual testosterone levels to calling for evidence when a performance advantage exists.
Earlier in March, Lia Thomas scripted history in the United States as the first transgender woman to win an NCAA swimming championship. She won the 500-yard freestyle.
Other sports have also been examining their rules.
On Thursday, cycling’s governing body updated its eligibility rules for transgender athletes with stricter limits that will force riders to wait longer before they can compete.
The International Cycling Union (UCI) increased the transition period for low testosterone to two years and lowered the maximum accepted level of testosterone.
(Inputs from PTI)