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Virginia Tech swimmer Réka György has challenged the NCAA over the fairness of transgender males competing against biological female athletes.Twitter

LAUSANNE, Switzerland (LifeSiteNews) — Gender-confused males who want to compete against women in international swimming competitions will be limited now by a new policy from the Fédération Internationale de Natation (FINA), the international governing body for aquatics. The regulations cover not only swimming, but diving and water polo competitions, too.

The new policy does not apply to the Olympics, but does apply to all international FINA competitions. FINA affiliates can set their own policies for local competitions.

The new policy, which goes into effect today, stops men from competing against women unless “they have not experienced any part of male puberty beyond Tanner Stage 2 or before age 12, whichever is later.”

“Classifying athletes on the basis of sex is necessary to meet FINA’s goals for female Aquatics athletes and the women’s competition category,” FINA stated. It wants to make clear it does not wish to “unnecessarily [limit] participation by gender-diverse athletes.”

READ: Ex-teammate of ‘Lia’ Thomas says swimmer is ‘mentally ill,’ insensitive to female athlete concerns

While FINA is open to “gender-diverse athletes” the organization cannot ignore the basic biological differences between men and women.

The swimming body stated in the opening of the document:

Because of the performance gap that emerges at puberty between biological males as a group and biological females as a group, separate sex competition is necessary for the attainment of these objectives. Without eligibility standards based on biological sex or sex-linked traits, we are very unlikely to see biological females in finals, on podiums, or in championship positions; and in sports and events involving collisions and projectiles, biological female athletes would be at greater risk of injury.

A majority of the working group agreed that competition should primarily be sex-segregated:

In the majority view, FINA should remain committed to the separation of athletes in sport into men’s and women’s categories based on biological sex and should allow male-to-female transgender athletes (transgender women) and athletes with 46 XY DSD with a female gender identity to compete in the women’s category pursuant to eligibility criteria that are consistent with, and do not undermine, that commitment.

The working group included a “Science Group” of “independent experts in the fields of physiology,
endocrinology, and human performance, including specialists in sex differences in human
performance and in transgender medicine.”

That group concluded that “biological sex is a key determinant of athletic performance” including in sports like aquatics “that are primarily determined by neuromuscular, cardiovascular, and respiratory function, and anthropometrics including body and limb size.”

“The extent of the male/female performance gap varies by sport and competition, but the gap universally emerges starting from the onset of puberty,” the scientists concluded.

FINA has also begun work on an open competition category.

The issue of males competing against women reached new attention this spring as male swimming William “Lia” Thomas dominated the female NCAA swimming championships.