Lia Thomas Switzerland city Paris Pennsylvania county Thomas ATHLETICS inclusion Olympics Trans Transgender Sporting Action Lia Thomas Switzerland city Paris Pennsylvania county Thomas

Lia Thomas Speaks Out After 2024 Olympics Dream Crushed

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Lia Thomas has spoken out after losing a legal battle that will essentially see her barred from competing in next month's Olympics in Paris.Three judges on the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) on Wednesday dismissed the athlete's request for arbitration with World Aquatics, the global sport governing body for swimming, over rules it introduced regarding transgender competitors.World Aquatics voted in June 2022 to prohibit transgender women who had been through male puberty from competing in women's elite races.

The organization introduced an open category in its 50-meter and 100-meter races across all strokes, which would allow for the inclusion of those whose gender identity differs from their birth sex.Thomas asked CAS to overturn the ruling last year, arguing that the guidelines were discriminatory and unlawful.

The rules were put in place after former University of Pennsylvania student Thomas became the first transgender woman to secure a National Collegiate Athletics Association (NCAA) swimming championship victory in 2022.In its ruling regarding Thomas' challenge, the Switzerland-based court said: "The panel concludes that she lacks standing to challenge the policy and the operational requirements in the framework of the present proceeding."Responding to ruling, Thomas said in a statement provided by her legal team that the upholding of the ban should serve as a "call to action for trans women athletes.""The CAS decision is deeply disappointing," the statement read. "Blanket bans preventing trans women from competing are discriminatory and deprive us of valuable athletic opportunities that are central to our identities.

The CAS decision should be seen as a call to action to all trans women athletes to continue to fight for our dignity and human rights."Newsweek has contacted representatives of the CAS via email for comment.Thomas first made national headlines in 2021, after defeating rival college swimmers by large margins.

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