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University of Pennsylvania swimmer William "Lia" Thomas smiles on the podium after winning the 200-yard freestyle during the 2022 Ivy League Women's Swimming and Diving Championships in February. Kathryn Riley/Getty Images

(LifeSiteNews) – Gender-confused University of Pennsylvania swimmer William “Lia” Thomas is working with Canadian law firm Tyr behind the scenes to try to overturn the ban on males competing against females in the Olympics, according to a report in the UK’s Telegraph.

Thomas, who “transitioned” to identifying as a female yet retains male genitalia and reportedly remained heterosexual (despite self-identifying as lesbian), has drawn headlines since 2022 for generating unease among his actual female teammates and opponents, partly due to having to share lockers and partly due to his domination of women’s swimming competitions since switching from the men’s team.

According to the latest report, Thomas is seeking to have the Court of Arbitration for Sport in Switzerland overturn a rule imposed by swim governing body World Aquatics forbidding any male who has experienced “any part of male puberty” from competing as a female, which in 2022 closed a loophole allowing “trans” athletes to qualify by reducing their testosterone levels.

The case is not expected to be heard in time for any potential favorable ruling to allow Thomas to meet the June 4 entry deadline for the upcoming Summer Olympics in Paris, but he has previously told Good Morning America that “it’s been a goal of mine to swim at Olympic trials for a very long time, and I would love to see that through.”

Reached for comment, World Aquatics executive director Brent Nowicki told the Telegraph only that the “World Aquatics policy on gender inclusion, adopted by World Aquatics in June of 2022, was rigorously developed on the basis of advice from leading medical and legal experts, and in careful consultation with athletes. World Aquatics remains confident that its gender inclusion policy represents a fair approach and remains absolutely determined to protect women’s sport.”

Mandatory inclusion of gender-confused individuals in opposite-sex sports is promoted as a matter of “inclusivity,” but critics note that indulging “transgender” athletes undermines the original rational basis for having sex-specific athletics in the first place, thereby depriving female athletes of recognition and professional or academic opportunities. 

There have been numerous high-profile examples in recent years of men winning women’s competitions, and research affirms that physiology gives males distinct athletic advantages that cannot be fully negated by hormone suppression.

In a 2019 paper published by the Journal of Medical Ethics, New Zealand researchers found that “healthy young men [do] not lose significant muscle mass (or power) when their circulating testosterone levels were reduced to (below International Olympic Committee guidelines) for 20 weeks,” and “indirect effects of testosterone” on factors such as bone structure, lung volume, and heart size “will not be altered by hormone therapy;” therefore, “the advantage to transwomen [biological men] afforded by the [International Olympic Committee] guidelines is an intolerable unfairness.”

In Thomas’ case, former teammates have reportedly been intimidated into silence about their objections to Thomas by officials at Ivy League schools and by the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA), though some have spoken out anonymously, describing Thomas as thoroughly dismissive of the feelings or interests of his teammates.

Some of his opponents have been more willing or able to go public, such as former University of Kentucky All-American collegiate swimmer Riley Gaines, who has openly discussed the experience of tying with Thomas for fifth place at the NCAA championships’ 200 freestyle competition. Despite both swimmers performing the same, Thomas was given a trophy to pose with for photos and Gaines had to settle for one mailed to her.

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