Swimmer Lia Thomas requests that the rule against transgender athletes be annulled

LAUSANNE.- The swimmer transgender Lia Thomas has asked the Court of Arbitration for Sport to overturn the rule imposed by World Aquatics that prevents her from competing in elite events, arguing they are discriminatory.

The CAS indicated Friday that it registered Thomas’ request, but said it has not decided on a hearing date. The confidentiality of the case was lifted in September, after it was reported by a British media.

“Ms. Thomas seeks an order from CAS declaring that “(the World Aquatics rule) was illegal, invalid and of no force and effect,” she told the court sitting in Lausanne, Switzerland, home of the International Olympic Committee.

World Aquatics agreed to rules prohibiting transgender women, who have gone through male puberty, from competing in women’s events. It also created an “open” category for transgender athletes to be eligible.

Other Olympic sports bodies, including athletics and cycling, adopted similar rules that supporters say recognize the physical advantages of male puberty that athletes retain long-term after their transition.

The swimming rules were agreed upon months after Thomas, a University of Pennsylvania student, won the collegiate title in the 500-yard freestyle. Thomas’s results in the women’s competitions were better than her results in the men’s events.

Olympic hope for the swimmer:

Although the NCAA championships are outside the World Aquatics system, Thomas indicated he hoped to one day participate in the Olympic trials with the United States.

“Miss. “Thomas accepts that fair competition is a legitimate goal of sport and that some regulations on transgender women in swimming are appropriate,” the Swiss court added.

“However, Ms. Thomas recognizes that (the rules) are invalid and illegal because they discriminate,” the CAS said, citing “the Olympic Charter, the World Aquatics Constitution, Swiss laws, including the European Convention on Human Rights and the Convention to Eliminate All “Forms of Discrimination Against Women”.

Thomas assured that “such discrimination cannot be justified as necessary, reasonable or proportional to achieving a legitimate sporting objective.”

Usually CAS cases are heard by three judges—selected by the parties involved and the court itself—who could decline jurisdiction.