The Associated Press reports that the international swimming organization FINA has banned transgender athletes from competing in women's events, with more than 71.5% of members voting for a new "gender inclusion policy" that allows only swimmers who transitioned before the age of 12 to compete in women's events.
"This does not imply that individuals are encouraged to transition by age 12." It's what the scientists say, that if you transition after the beginning of puberty, you have an unfair edge," James Pearce, the FINA president's spokesman, told The Associated Press.
"They are not claiming that everyone should transition by the age of 11, that's absurd. In the majority of countries, you cannot transition by that age, and hopefully you would not be encouraged to. Essentially, they are arguing that it is impossible for transitioning individuals to compete without an edge."
FINA's 24-page regulation includes ideas for a new category of "open competition." FINA stated that it will establish "a new working group that will spend the next six months examining the most efficient ways to establish this new category."
"No one knows how this will work. To determine how it would function, we must involve a wide variety of individuals, including transgender athletes. Therefore, there are no specifics regarding how that would function. The open category will be debated beginning tomorrow, according to Pearce.