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Transgender activist Norrie May-Welby has come out in support of the FINA ban on trans women swimmers competing against female athletes.
Over the weekend, swimming’s world governing body, FINA, voted to restrict transgender swimmers from competing in women’s elite events.
The issue of trans athletes competing in women’s sports shot to the forefront after Lia Thomas became the first trans athlete to win a National Collegiate Athletic Association title in the 500-yard freestyle event.
Norrie May-Welby, who won a historic legal battle to be identified as neither a man nor a woman in the NSW Registry, is backing the decision.
Norrie told Daily Mail Australia: “I accept the right of the organisations running sports to make the rules for their events.”
FINA’s changes mean transgender women will compete in an ‘open category’ which Norrie has supported.
Norrie added: “If the reality is that people who have been through standard male puberty have an unfair advantage over those who have not, then keeping a separate category for this who have not been through male puberty seems fair.”
Norrie had previously called it ‘bigoted’ for women to be against competing against transgender competitors, however, clarified that those comments were in reference to community sport.
They said: “This is however only about elite level competition sports, not community participation in sports.
“Discrimination based on prejudice is bigotry, discrimination based on measurable scientific reality is not bigotry. Sometimes, ‘science’ has been used to push bigotry, so wariness is cautioned.”
FINA took its vote on the matter during a general congress at the World Championships in Budapest, where 152 FINA members submitted their decision on the matter.
A total of 71 per cent of voters opted to stop trans athletes from competing in women's elite races if they have gone through any part of the process of male puberty.
This means transgender competitors will now have to have completed their transition by the age of 12.
However, trans athlete and Australian handball representative, Hannah Mouncey, claims testosterone deprivation drugs mean transgender women don’t get an advantage.
She told the ABC's News Breakfast on Monday (June 21): “The testosterone depravation negates any strength that might happen or you might have had anyway.
“From my experience, my bench press in 12 months went from 150kg to 60. A squat went from 200 to about 70 and a clean from 140 to 60.”
Featured Image Credit: Richard Milnes / Alamy. Sipa US / Alamy.