Tom Daley 'Furious' Over FINA's Transgender Women Ban in Elite Swimming

by Emell Adolphus

EDGE Media Network Contributor

Monday June 27, 2022

Tom Daley
Tom Daley  (Source:Associated Press)

Olympic diving champion Tom Daley is speaking up and speaking out for transgender swimmers.

As reported by the Daily Mail, the Team Great Britain gold medalist said he was "furious" over the elite swimming governing body FINA's decision to restrict the participation of transgender athletes in elite women's competitions.

The restriction applies to swimming, diving, water polo, artistic swimming, high diving and open water swimming.

Speaking at the British LGBT Awards on Friday, Daley let it rip just how unfair he felt the decision was.

'You know, like most queer people, anyone that's told that they can't compete or can't do something they love just because of who they are, it's not on,' the Daley told iNews.

"It's something I feel really strongly about. Giving trans people the chance to share their side (of the story)," said Daley.

Transgender swimmer Lia Thomas became the focus of FINA's debate about transgender athletes participating in elite women's competition. Their restriction of transgender athletes could have wide implications for other sports as well as to the level that transgender athletes are allowed to compete.

World Athletics and FIFA are also among a number of governing bodies said to be "reviewing their guidelines on the involvement of transgender athletes following FINA's ruling, which is the strictest by any Olympic sports body," the Daily Mail reports.

With its decision, FINA said it would create a working group to establish an "open" category for transgender athletes.

Agreeing with FINA's decision, former Olympic medallist Sharron Davies said FINA was simply "standing up for fair sport for females," the Daily Mail reports.

She added: 'Swimming will always welcome everyone no matter how you identify but fairness is the cornerstone of sport.'

However, opponents of FINA's decision say there simply isn't enough evidence to know the impact of transition on a competitors physical performance.