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HomeSportsFormer Olympian Nikki Dryden Defends Lia Thomas, Questions Swimming Governing Body

Former Olympian Nikki Dryden Defends Lia Thomas, Questions Swimming Governing Body


World swimming governing body FINA had recently ruled that transgender athletes will not be able to participate in women’s swimming competitions. At the FINA congress meeting, a total of 71 per cent of voters had decided to prohibit transgender athletes from participating in women’s competitions.

Though, the decision faced a huge backlash from multiple former athletes. Former swimmers like Nikki Dryden and Danni Miatke recently lambasted FINA’s move to ban transgender athletes from taking part in women’s swimming events.

FINA Restricts Transgender Participation in Elite Women's Competitions, Creates 'Open' Category For Them

Out of the 274 members, 196 voted in favour of the highly contentious scheme.

Former Olympic swimmer turned human rights lawyer Nikki Dryden recently expressed her disappointment as she feels that the sport has one of the most discriminatory strategies.

“I’m actually really disappointed and sad that my sport now has the privilege of having one of the most discriminatory and non-human rights compatible policies in world sport and I really hope that no other sports are going to follow us,” Dryden was quoted while talking to ABC.

FINA Official Hopes Other Sports Follow Swimming's Transgender Ruling

At the same time, the former Canadian swimmer also vowed to help swimmer Lia Thomas to deal with the FINA ruling. In March this year, Thomas represented the University of Pennsylvania and became the first known transgender champion in the history of the NCAA (National Collegiate Athletic Association) Division I. Thomas had secured a first-place title at the National Collegiate Athletic Association title with a time of 4 minutes 33:24.

Dryden also revealed that she is ready to help Thomas as a lawyer.

“I’d love to take this to court all the way up to the court of arbitration of sport because first of all, there’s no way this could stand up internationally under human rights rules and universal principles of human rights. I just don’t see how this is going to pass,” Dryden explained.

Dryden, who represented Canada twice in swimming at the Olympic Games, also raised a pertinent question about the science and logicality behind FINA’s new and controversial policy. She feels that science is flawed in this case.

Australian researchers have also recently opened up on this matter and according to them, FINA’s latest decisions are not based on actual science.



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