University of Pennsylvania transgender swimmer Lia Thomas will likely be eligible to compete in next month’s NCAA championships, The Hill reported on Monday.
The news comes after an NCAA subcommittee announced in a news release on Thursday that no changes would be made to guidelines passed on Jan. 19 regarding minimum testosterone levels.
Thomas, who qualified in December, should be able to compete in the women’s 200-yard, 500-yard and 1,650-yard freestyle events at the championships in March under the policy.
The decision by the NCAA breaks from the elite competition body USA Swimming, which updated its guidelines on Feb. 1 to acknowledge ”a competitive difference in the male and female categories and the disadvantages this presents.”
The new USA Swimming rule requires that transgender female athletes prove that the concentration of testosterone in their blood has been less than 5 nanomoles per liter continuously for at least 36 months, half of the 10 nanomoles per liter of blood required under the NCAA,
USA Swimming’s new policy does not automatically apply to NCAA events, as they are not considered elite competitions. But it has been used as a basis for rules in the past.
The NCAA subcommittee, however, said in the Thursday news release that it would not adopt the USA Swimming policy.
”The subcommittee decided implementing additional changes at this time could have unfair and potentially detrimental impacts on schools and student-athletes intending to compete in 2022 NCAA women’s swimming championships,” the news release read.
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