Australia's Seebohm backs FINA choice on transgender swimmers

Published:Mar 9, 202409:27
Australia's Seebohm backs FINA choice on transgender swimmers

Australian Olympic gold medallist Emily Seebohm has welcomed FINA's choice to limit the participation of transgender athletes in elite girls's swimming, saying the game may now transfer on with certainty.

FINA made the choice at its extraordinary common congress (EGC) on Sunday after members heard a report from a transgender activity pressure comprising main medical, authorized and sports activities figures.

5-times world champion Seebohm, who gained a medley relay gold medal for Australia ultimately yr's Tokyo Video games, stated the choice would encourage swimmers to remain within the sport.

"I’m lastly completely satisfied that we now have a choice, and we all know the place the game’s going and what we’re going to be doing," the 30-year-old advised Sky Information Australia on Monday.

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"We simply did not know what was going to occur and once we simply do not know, it is arduous to commit absolutely to our sport if we do not know the course it should go.

"We are able to all transfer on. We are able to all simply return to the game that we love ... and know that we're getting within the pool and it should be a good, stage enjoying discipline and that is what we wish."

Athlete Ally, an advocacy group for LGBTQI+ individuals in sport, stated FINA's choice was "discriminatory" and "dangerous".

"If we actually need to shield girls’s sports activities, we should embody all girls," they stated in a submit on twitter.

Transgender rights has develop into a serious speaking level as sports activities search to stability inclusion with equity.

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The talk intensified after College of Pennsylvania swimmer Lia Thomas grew to become the primary transgender NCAA champion in Division I historical past after successful the ladies's 500-yard freestyle earlier this yr.

FINA stated it'll create a working group to determine an "open" class for them in some occasions as a part of its new coverage.


A number of prime Australian feminine swimmers have raised considerations about competing towards transgender athletes.

4-times Olympic champion Cate Campbell advised FINA's EGC that she supported a restriction on transgender athletes competing in girls's classes and urged individuals to "hearken to the science and specialists".

"Girls, who've fought lengthy and arduous to be included and seen as equals in sport, can solely achieve this due to the gender class distinction," Campbell stated earlier than delegates voted in favour of the ban.

"To take away that distinction could be to the detriment of feminine athletes in all places."

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Nonetheless, Madeline Groves, a former nationwide champion swimmer who gained a butterfly silver medal on the 2016 Rio Video games, took exception to Campbell's feedback and was scathing of FINA's ruling.

"You’re okay with ostracising an already marginalised group? Actual accepting," the 27-year-old Australian stated on social media.

"Disgrace on everybody that supported this discriminatory and unscientific choice."

Australian girls gained eight of the nation's 9 gold medals on the Tokyo pool.

The Australian Olympic Committee additionally backed FINA's choice, saying sports activities had been sure to make sure participation was "honest and secure."

"Whereas inclusivity have to be revered, equity in competitors is a core worth of sport," a spokesman stated.

"FINA has decided primarily based on the circumstances within the sport of swimming to attain that stability."

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