In the middle of LGBTQI pride month, the International Swimming Federation (Fina) has decided to exclude from women’s competitions transgender women who have experienced “male puberty”, explains the American daily The New York Times. In decision of Sunday, June 19, taking effect the next day, the Fina committee, which notably governs the Olympic Games, “establishes one of the strictest rules against the participation of transgender people in international competitions”.
The committee thus claims to want to protect “biological women”, who would by definition be more fragile than athletes assigned men at birth, details the decision: “If the eligibility criteria based on birth sex and sexual characteristics were no longer applied, there would be a strong chance that biological women would disappear from finals, podiums or even competitions. And in sports where there are collisions and projectile throwing, biological women would be at greater risk of injury.”
To compete in the “women’s” category, transgender swimmers now have to prove that they started their transition before puberty. This implies having started the treatment which limits the production of testosterone before the age of 12 – without interruption -, or that they have not gone beyond stage 2 of pubertal development according to