DAN WOOTTON: If the world allows trans swimmer Lia Thomas to compete, then women’s sport is over

This weekend, the world finally woke up to the realization that politically correct monsters who care nothing more than promoting a hard-left ideology are dangerously close to wiping out women’s sport for good.

The incongruous image of Lia Thomas, the University of Pennsylvania swimmer — the first transgender athlete to win the NCAA title in the women’s 500-meter freestyle — towering over biologically female runner-up as she is booed by the crowd from Atlanta, sums up the utter madness of our time.

Especially considering second place went Virginia’s Emma Weyant – a silver medalist at the recent Tokyo Olympics, who still finished 1.75 seconds behind Lia.

Lia Thomas — the first transgender athlete to win the NCAA women’s 500-meter freestyle title — towered over her competitors as she was booed by the Atlanta crowd

The 22-year-old has gone from 554th in the event as a male to first as a female.

While I don’t personally blame Lia, because the NCAA’s dangerous rules that allow transgender athletes to compete after just a year of hormone therapy are clearly set to be exploited, there must now be a reckoning with the entire world of the female sport unites before it’s too late.

As far as I’m concerned, there is a very simple solution to this quagmire: trans athletes must be told in no uncertain terms that they cannot compete outside of their biological gender.

After all, all sportswomen make huge sacrifices in their way of life. In the future, everyone in the same position as Lia has to accept that their transition should be delayed until AFTER their competitive sports career, with rules ensuring that all athletes must compete in their biological gender at birth, regardless of the sport or the competition.

That may seem cruel, but it’s not much different from many elite female athletes who make the heartbreaking decision to put off becoming a mother for a few years before retiring (although I admit some are capable of a ​make a comeback after childbirth).

Am I dishonest?

Well, I knew I had to ask Caitlyn Jenner, the world’s most famous trans woman who won an Olympic gold medal while competing as Bruce.

She recently told me, ‘I think, to be honest, they need to change the rules. We need a level playing field. And if we allow this now, it will not be a level playing field.’

Predictably and farcically, the left-wing media has tried to label Caitlyn as transphobic, which is a real frontrunner considering her own transition.

But Caitlyn rightly sees that the Lia Thomas debacle is adding to the bitterness towards the trans community.

Caitlyn Jenner rightly sees the Lia Thomas debacle increasing bitterness towards the trans community

Caitlyn Jenner rightly sees the Lia Thomas debacle increasing bitterness towards the trans community

‘I fully support the protection of women’s sport. We can’t let biological boys compete against women. It’s bad for the trans community,” she answered honestly.

And she went even further than me by personally criticizing Lia — who she says was “on the men’s team” a few years ago and now “beating the women by two rounds” — for being irresponsible in continuing to compete, despite the controversy .

Caitlyn explains, “When you’re going through and going through a transition, you have to take responsibility and have integrity. I don’t know why she’s doing this. I respect her 100 percent right to live her life authentically, but I don’t think she’s being responsible about this.”

I admit it is somewhat suspicious that athletes like Thomas and New Zealand weightlifter Laurel Hubbard make the decision to switch and compete in women’s events AFTER it has become clear that they will not be successful in men’s competitions.

Hubbard, 43, became the first openly transgender athlete to compete in the Olympics last summer, after years of competing as a male in junior competitions.

Lia, meanwhile, competed on the UPenn men’s swim team as Will for three years before transitioning in 2019, but wasn’t even in the NCAA top 500.

And without a doubt, Lia has tremendous physical advantages because of her biology.

As British swimmer Sharron Davies – a staunch advocate for women’s sports – wrote in The Mail on Sunday: ‘Lia has been on testosterone suppressing drugs for the past 12 months, as stipulated by NCAA rules, but no amount can achieve the physical benefits. of male puberty reversal.

‘She has more upper body strength and significantly more muscle mass than a woman of the same weight and height. She has a greater lung capacity, a better VO2 absorption, a different bone density, she is almost six feet tall and has large hands and feet that work like paddles.’

The problem is if you stand up for female athletes you will be branded transphobic right now

The liberal media doesn’t want to treat the story right, and NBC’s Today show has even been accused of airbrushing an on-screen image of Lia to make her look more feminine.

But when you dig a little deeper into Lia’s time with the UPenn team, things get more and more troubling.

In January, one of her teammates told Shawn Cohen of DailyMail.com that they find it “inconvenient” to share a locker room with her because “Lia still has male body parts and is still attracted to women.”

Lia’s teammate added: “Multiple swimmers have increased it several times. But we were actually told that we couldn’t banish Lia by not having her in the locker room and that there’s nothing we can do about it, that we actually have to turn around and accept it or we can’t use our own locker room.”

Hungarian-born swimmer Reka Gyorgy who was knocked out of the final by Lia has now written an outraged letter to the NCAA disapproving of the decision

Hungarian-born swimmer Reka Gyorgy who was knocked out of the final by Lia has now written an outraged letter to the NCAA disapproving of the decision

Then there’s Hungarian-born swimmer Reka Gyorgy who was kicked out of the final by Lia and has now written an outraged letter to the NCAA disapproving of the decision.

“This is my last lecture ever and I feel frustrated. It feels like that last spot has been taken from me because of the NCAA’s decision to let someone who isn’t a biological woman participate,” she wrote.

The letter continued: “Every event that transgender athletes participated in was one spot away from biological women for the entire competition. I ask the NCAA to take the time to think about all the other biological women in swimming, to try to imagine how they would feel if they were in our shoes. Make the right changes for our sport and for a better future in swimming.”

You would have to be willingly blind not to feel Reka’s visceral pain and frustration.

And I say all this as a great admirer of women’s sports and female athletes.

More from Dan Wootton for MailOnline…

As one of the official supporters of the London Pulse netball club, I know how much harder women have to work to be at their physical peak week after week, overcoming issues with their menstrual cycle that don’t affect biological men.

USA Swimming’s new policy is that athletes must record low levels of testosterone for 36 months to compete in the female category, a stricter regulation than the wakeful NCAA’s requirements.

They recently said in a statement: “USA Swimming strongly believes in inclusiveness and the opportunity for all athletes to experience the sport of swimming in a way that is consistent with their gender identity and expression. We also strongly believe in competitive equality and, like many, do our best to learn and educate ourselves about the right balance in this space.”

But that statement sums up the whole issue — in women’s competitive sports, there’s just no room to be inclusive when it comes to allowing biological men to compete, as offensive as that may be to the waking crowd.

With the International Olympic Committee refusing to adopt a tough policy on trans athletes, there must be a popular uprising before we risk marginalizing female athletes forever and turning women’s sport into competition for undersized biological men.

Even if she doesn’t break any rules, Lia Thomas is already taking us down that slippery slope.

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