In a move that grants a win to women's rights, swimming's world governing body FINA has established new rules that do not allow biological males who have experienced puberty from participating in women's competitions. FINA members on Sunday have voted to adopt a new "gender inclusion policy" that only allows those who have transitioned before the age of 12 to compete in women's sports. The world swimming organization has also decided to create a working group to establish an "open" category for athletes.
According to Breitbart, 71% of FINA's 152 members voted at the world swimming organization's general congress to implement the new "gender inclusion policy." FINA's goal was to create the new policy as a way to implement "full inclusion" without sacrificing "competitive fairness."
"FINA's approach in drafting this policy was comprehensive, science-based and inclusive, and, importantly, Fina's approach emphasized competitive fairness," the world swimming organization's executive director Brent Nowicki explained.
The organization controls the development of several aquatic events, including swimming, water polo, diving, artistic swimming, high diving, and open water swimming. It is also internationally recognized by the International Olympic Committee (IOC).
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FINA Aims to Protect Fairness in All Sports
FINA President Husain Al-Musallam explained that the new "gender inclusion policy" was established to protect not only athletes' rights to compete, but also "protect competitive fairness at our events, especially the women's category at FINA competitions," Reuters reported. He assured that the world swimming organization "will always welcome every athlete."
Al-Musallam explained further that the establishment of an open category will allow everyone to have the opportunity to compete at an elite level, a feat that has not been achieved before. In fact, the new category will also allow athletes who have "complete androgen insensitivity" and may not experience male puberty to compete.
For Al-Musallam's spokesperson James Pearce, he believes that FINA's new "gender inclusion policy" is not discriminatory. In fact, he explained that it is science-based. Pearce said that the rules are not set in place to urge athletes to transition before turning 12 years old, instead he said, ""It's what the scientists are saying, that if you transition after the start of puberty, you have an advantage, which is unfair," CBC News reported.
New FINA Transgender Rules Bring Mixed Reactions
Former swimming athlete Sharron Davies, an Olympic silver medalist during the 1980 Games and a vocal women's rights in sports advocate, welcomed FINA's new "gender inclusion policy," saying how she was "proud" she was of her sport and FINA and its leaders for "doing the science, asking the athletes/coaches and standing up for fair sport for females," adding that "fairness is the cornerstone of sport."
Meanwhile, left-wing group and LGBT advocate Athlete Ally took to Twitter to denounce FINA's new "gender inclusion policy," calling it "discriminatory, harmful," and "unscientific" despite FINA consulting several scientists, doctors, and experts who beleive that puberty does provide clear advantages to the male body.
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