Trans swimming champion Lia Thomas has no biological advantage, data shows

Her NCAA victory on March 17 made history, as Thomas became the first Transgender athlete to win a US college swimming championship.

Close up of Lia Thomas speaking into a mic after winning the championships
Image: Via Twitter

A week after Trans woman Lia Thomas became the 500-yard freestyle champion at the US collegiate championships in Atlanta, The Independent released data to definitively prove she had no advantage over her cisgender competitors.

There are criteria that athletes must meet in order to compete and according to GLAAD, Thomas “has complied with all policies and protocols to participate in the women’s swimming category.”

“Her eligibility has been affirmed by the NCAA, UPenn, the Ivy League and supported by her teammates and hundreds of professional, Olympic and college women athletes,” they continued.

Critics and conservatives have argued that Thomas should not be allowed to compete in the women’s category because of ‘biological advantages’, but Thomas began gender-affirming HRT (hormone replacement therapy) in 2019, almost three years before her win. This would qualify her for the women’s category in the eyes of both the NCAA (National Collegiate Athletic Association) and the Olympics, pending tests that reveal testosterone levels.

It is no surprise that Thomas’ test results only proved her eligibility, as she then went on to compete and thrive in the championships.

To further illustrate why Lia Thomas is at no biological advantage over her cis peers, The Independent published their findings of her stats both pre- and post-HRT treatment. It turns out that, since transitioning and the dip in her testosterone levels, muscle mass and strength, Thomas’ performance has only improved, which can be attributed to the three years of additional training she’s undergone since then.

“Before transitioning, her best time in the 500-yard event was 5.6 per cent slower,” wrote Rachel Lang for LADbible. “Her 1,000-yard time was 7.5 per cent slower, and her 1,650-yard time was 7.2 per cent slower.”

Despite these indisputable facts, many refuse to accept the University of Pennsylvania swimmer for the champion that she is. Among them, is Governor Ron DeSantis, whose name may be familiar as the one expected to sign Florida’s ‘Don’t Say Gay’ bill into law.

He released a statement that declared Emma Weyant, who placed second, the true winner whilst condemning the NCAA for “elevating ideology over biology”. Meanwhile, Erica Sullivan, who placed third after Thomas and Weyant, wrote an article for Newsweek the day after the competition.

“As a woman in sports, I can tell you that I know what the real threats to women’s sports are: sexual abuse and harassment, unequal pay and resources and a lack of women in leadership,” Sullivan wrote. “Transgender girls and women are nowhere on this list.”

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