Penn swimmers say transgender teammate Lia Thomas should not be allowed to compete
Days after some members of the University of Pennsylvania women's swimming team issued a statement supporting a transgender teammate, more than a dozen others sent a letter to the school and the Ivy League stating that Lia Thomas should not be allowed to compete.
The school said last month that it would comply with the NCAA, who adopted new standards for transgender athletes. The determination for transgender participation in sports will be made by a national governing body but are subject to reviews and recommendations by the NCAA.
The letter was sent by Nancy Hogshead-Makar, a three-time Olympic swimming gold medalist and Founder and CEO of Champion Women.
The letter stated that if Thomas were allowed to compete she could break "Penn, Ivy, and NCAA Women’s Swimming records; feats she could never have done as a male athlete.”
“We fully support Lia Thomas in her decision to affirm her gender identity and to transition from a man to a woman. Lia has every right to live her life authentically,” the letter, obtained by the Washington Post, read. “However, we also recognize that when it comes to sports competition, that the biology of sex is a separate issue from someone’s gender identity. Biologically, Lia holds an unfair advantage over competition in the women’s category, as evidenced by her rankings that have bounced from #462 as a male to #1 as a female."
Penn's next swim meet is the Ivy League Championships, starting Feb. 16, and Thomas has already qualified for several events at next month's NCAA swimming championships.
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Teammates say transgender swimmer Lia Thomas should not compete