Scroll To Top
News

Lia Thomas isn't allowed to compete in Olympic events or elite women's races 'for the time being'

University of Pennsylvania swimmer Lia Thomas reacts after winning 500 Freestyle prelims NCAA Swimming and Diving Championships 2022
Rich von Biberstein/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Transgender swimmer Lia Thomas has lost her discrimination lawsuit against World Aquatics.

Lia Thomas will not be allowed to compete in the 2024 Paris Olympics or any elite women's race "for the time being" after losing her lawsuit against World Aquatics.

Thomas, the first out transgender woman to win an NCAA swimming championship, filed her lawsuit against the governing body for water sports in January. She asserted that the organization's 2022 policy, which restricts transgender women from participating in women’s swimming events, is discriminatory.

The World Aquatics policy states that transgender women cannot compete in elite events unless they establish with the organization "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." The organization also said at the time that it would work to establish an "open competition" category in which transgender athletes would be permitted to compete.

Thomas filed the suit with the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS), which ruled Wednesday that she is not eligible to compete "for the time being,” and can only participate in events that aren't at the elite level.

"The panel concludes that since the athlete is not entitled to participate in 'Elite Events' within the meaning of USA Swimming Policy, let alone to compete in a [World Aquatics] competition ... she is simply not entitled to engage with eligibility to compete in [World Aquatics] competitions," the three-member panel wrote.

The ruling comes just two days before the U.S. Olympic swimming trials, the tryouts determining which athletes will represent the United States and compete in the 2024 Paris Olympics. Thomas has previously said that her dream is participate in the qualifiers, telling ABC in 2022, “It’s been a goal of mine to just swim at an Olympic trials for a very long time and I would love to see that through.”

30 Years of Out100Out / Advocate Magazine - Jonathan Groff & Wayne Brady

From our Sponsors

Most Popular

Latest Stories

Ryan Adamczeski

Ryan is a staff writer at The Advocate, and a graduate of New York University Tisch's Department of Dramatic Writing, with a focus in television writing and comedy. She first became a published author at the age of 15 with her YA novel "Someone Else's Stars," and is now a member of GALECA, the LGBTQ+ society of entertainment critics. In her free time, Ryan likes watching New York Rangers hockey, listening to the Beach Boys, and practicing witchcraft.
Ryan is a staff writer at The Advocate, and a graduate of New York University Tisch's Department of Dramatic Writing, with a focus in television writing and comedy. She first became a published author at the age of 15 with her YA novel "Someone Else's Stars," and is now a member of GALECA, the LGBTQ+ society of entertainment critics. In her free time, Ryan likes watching New York Rangers hockey, listening to the Beach Boys, and practicing witchcraft.