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An Olympic champion has insisted that “forcing” controversial transgender swimmer Lia Thomas to compete against women only “engenders resentment.”
University of Pennsylvania student Thomas destroyed women’s records in both the 200-metre freestyle and 500-metre freestyle.
The 22-year-old, who previously competed as a male swimmer at UPenn before transitioning, reignited the debate surrounding transgender involvement in sports.
It has been reported that around 10 UPenn parents sent a letter to the NCAA to call on changes to its rules after Thomas’ controversial feat.
Thomas defended her record-breaking achievements and believes she should be allowed to compete against women in the school.
Idaho, Montana, Florida, Texas, Alabama, Arkansas, Mississippi, Tennessee, West Virginia and South Dakota are the 10 US states to have laws prohibiting trans women from competing in women’s sports in schools.
South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem pushed through the ban back in March with the help of two executive orders.
Now, Olympian Nancy Hogshead-Makar has spoken out over the heated controversy surrounding Thomas.
The 59-year-old American won an incredible three gold medals and a silver medal competing at the 1984 Summer Olympics.
Hogshead-Makar claimed she was able to win her medals at Los Angeles 1984 due to the boycott from the East Germans, who she accused of “cheating” with the use of “anabolic steroids.”
The three-time Olympic gold medallist insisted it would not be fair for her to compete against ‘doped-up’ East Germans as it would be for women to compete against Thomas.
“The unwritten rule is that women's sports can exist, so long as not a single male is harmed by women's inclusion,” Hogshead-Makar wrote for The Daily Mail.
“And yet, notice that women are expected to graciously move over and let trans athlete-inclusion change the meaning of the 'women's sports' category.
“It is sexist; we'd never allow the meaning of NCAA 'men's sports' category to change so that current NFL and NBA teams could be included.
“We'd never allow 25-year-old men to compete in boy's high school events. And we would never tell those boys to just 'work harder' if they wanted to win.
“I am ready to hear men's outrage. I am ready for men to step up and make sports equality happen for women's sports.”
She continued: “Lia Thomas has shown all of us that the current rules are not fair and forcing her into the women's category only engenders resentment.
“That doesn't mean, however, that transgender athletes should be excluded from the many benefits of sport.
“Instead, sport must adapt in creative ways that are not harmful to the women's category.”
Hogshead-Makar suggested that UPenn swimmer Thomas “still qualifies” to compete in the men's category.
Alternatively, she claimed that Thomas could be “permitted to compete as an exhibition until the evidence and science catches up with sports practices.”
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