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(LifeSiteNews) — World Aquatics has created an “open category” for competitions but still allows men to compete against women with some restrictions.

On August 16, World Aquatics, the international governing body for aquatics, formerly known as FINA, announced that it has created an “open category” for swimmers who claim to be “transgender” and do not meet the current regulations to compete against women.

“This pioneering pilot project highlights the organisation’s unwavering commitment to inclusivity,” a statement from World Aquatics reads.

The open category will make its debut at the World Aquatics Swimming World Cup 2023 event in Berlin, scheduled for October 6-8.

However, despite the open category, “transgender” men can still compete against women under World Aquatics regulations. According to guidelines published July 5, men can compete against female swimmers if they have not undergone male puberty or have had it “suppressed beginning at Tanner Stage 2 or before age 12.”

Male swimmers wishing to compete against women must have also “continuously maintained their testosterone levels in serum (or plasma) below 2.5 nmol/L.”

World Aquatics further states it “rejects the presumption that the male sex confers an athletic advantage, and discourages continued reliance on a testosterone proxy as the exclusive basis for eligibility for the women’s category.”

LifeSiteNews reached out to World Aquatics to ask why men are still permitted to compete against women if they can compete in the open category. World Aquatics failed to respond by time of publication.

In June 2022, World Aquatics, then known as Fédération Internationale de Natation (FINA), implemented a new policy restricting 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.”

In recent months, many female athletes have spoken out against allowing biological men who claim to be women to compete against females and forcing women to share changing spaces with them.

In July, Paula Scanlan, a sexual assault survivor and female athlete who swam on the same team as gender-confused male William “Lia” Thomas, testified before the U.S. Congress that she and fellow female swimmers were forced to change in front of the male athlete 18 times per week while the university tried to “re-educate” the women in an attempt to lower inhibitions about sharing their locker room with, and undressing in front of, a man.

Thomas made national news when he was allowed to compete on the University of Pennsylvania’s women’s swim team last year after having represented the men’s squad in the previous three seasons.

Predictably, Thomas went from being one of the lowest-ranked male swimmers in the country to an above-average female competitor, even winning the 500-yard freestyle national championship.

As the National Collegiate Athletics Association (NCAA) continues to defend allowing Thomas to take women’s awards, many of the women forced to swim with him have come forward to condemn the institution.

NCAA swimmer Riley Gaines was the first to speak up in defense of women. In March 2022, Thomas swam against Gaines at the 200-meter event, tying with her for fifth place.

During the subsequent photo shoot of the winners, officials made Gaines pose with the sixth-place trophy while Thomas posed with the trophy for fifth place. The NCAA eventually mailed a trophy to Gaines.

In July, Gaines condemned the NCAA for nominating Thomas as the NCAA Woman of the Year, saying, “It’s a mockery. That’s what this whole thing has turned into, something we as female athletes have dedicated our whole lives to. It’s something that people are laughing at. It’s an insult. It’s incredibly disheartening. And quite frankly it’s wrong.”

Other female swimmers and athletes complained about Thomas’ participation in the event. Virginia Tech swimmer Réka György told the NCAA in a letter that “[e]very event that transgender athletes competed in was one spot taken away from biological females.”

A letter sent by former Olympians and coaches from the University of Arizona after Thomas won the 500-yard freestyle also asked the NCAA to protect women’s sports.

In August, British Rowing announced it will ban biological males who claim to be female from competing against females and potentially taking their awards.

Send an urgent message to Canadian legislators and courts telling them to uphold parental rights.