Transgender swimmer Lia Thomas wins 500-yard freestyle at Ivy League women’s championships

The time was a pool record for Blodgett Pool at Harvard but was a few seconds slower than her time at the Zippy Invitational in Ohio in December, in which she set the fastest times of the NCAA season in the 200-yard and 500-yard freestyles. With those times, she qualified to compete at NCAA Nationals in March in Atlanta.

USA Swimming issues new policy on elite transgender athletes

A fifth-year senior who previously competed for the Penn men’s swimming team, Thomas began transitioning genders about 2 and a half years ago.

Her dominance in the pool has raised questions about the NCAA’s policies toward transgender women athletes and the proper balance between inclusion and fairness.

For over a decade, the NCAA has required transgender women to be on testosterone suppression treatment for a year before they are allowed to compete on the women’s team.

In January, the NCAA said it would change its rules to match each sport’s national governing body, but when USA Swimming released a set of stricter guidelines, the NCAA said it would not institute those rules until after the season, paving the way for Thomas to compete in the national championships.

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