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'Shame On Everyone': Aussie Swimmer Blasts Decision To Ban Transgender Athletes From Events

Max Sherry

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'Shame On Everyone': Aussie Swimmer Blasts Decision To Ban Transgender Athletes From Events

Former Australian swimmer Maddie Groves has spoken out against the decision to ban transgender athletes from competing in women's events.

Following a vote conducted by the sport's governing body, it was announced that trans swimmers will be restricted competing in women's competitions if they have gone through any part of the process of male puberty.

The decision was largely met with praise from those within the swimming community as a number of big-name figures threw their support behind the vote – Aussie Olympic gold medallist Cate Campbell being one of them.

"Believe me, I have wrestled long and hard with myself, with what to say and do. I am aware that my actions and words, no matter what I say, will anger some people — whether they are from the [transgender] community or from the cisgender female community," Campbell said in a recent speech.

Cate Campbell. Credit: Alamy
Cate Campbell. Credit: Alamy

"If inclusion is one of the cornerstones of sport, then the other would be fairness, fairness in regards to competition, especially elite, professional competition.

"The incongruity that inclusion and fairness cannot always work together is one of the reasons why it is so difficult to talk about this topic.

"Usually, they are terms of absolutes which work together, yet science now tells us that, in this issue, they are incompatible."

She concluded: "It is my hope that young girls all around the world can continue to dream of becoming Olympic and World Champions in a female category prioritising the competitive cornerstone of fairness.

"However, it is also my hope that a young gender-diverse child can walk into a swimming club and feel the same level of acceptance that a nine-year-old immigrant kid from Africa did all those years ago."

One person who took exception to Campbell's comments was Australian Olympic silver medallist Groves.

She tweeted: "'My hope that a young gender-diverse child can walk into a swimming club and feel the same level of acceptance'. So you ban them from competing with their peers? You’re okay with ostracising an already marginalised group? Real accepting."

Groves then followed up with another tweet in response to the decision.

"There are already gender diverse people in swimming and I'm guessing they're not feeling very accepted right now. Shame on everyone that supported this discriminatory and unscientific decision."

According to the Daily Mail, Groves withdrew from selection trials for last year's Olympic Games in Tokyo, citing a misogynist culture within Australian swimming.

Featured Image Credit: Instagram/liakthomas/mad_groves

Topics: Australia, Swimming, Olympics, Lia Thomas

Max Sherry
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