Two doctors have told The New York Times that they believe transgender NCAA swimmer Lia Thomas — who was able to swim for the University of Pennsylvania in women’s events due to having taken NCAA-mandated testosterone suppressants — has an unfair advantage over biologically female swimmers.
Mayo Clinic Dr. Michael Joyner and sports physiologist Ross Tucker told the outlet that Thomas’ very status as a transgender woman is what gives her a vast advantage over biologically female swimmers.
Joyner and Tucker added that 22-year-old Thomas has an overall biological advantage even though she took the hormone-suppressing drugs for the required time.
According to the report, Joyner said that since girls typically grow at a faster rate when compared to boys of the same age, they generally have a competitive advantage in their early years. Puberty, however, is far more than a great equalizer: “You see the divergence immediately as the testosterone surges into the boys,” Joyner insisted. “There are dramatic differences in performances.”
He added that while “social aspects to sport” exist, physiology and biology “underpin it.”
“Testosterone is the 800-pound gorilla,” he insisted.
Tucker doubled down on Joyner’s remarks and added, “Lia Thomas is the manifestation of the scientific evidence. The reduction in testosterone did not remove her biological advantage.”
Thomas in March told Sports Illustrated that competitive swimming is something she’s always wanted to do.
“I’m a woman, just like anybody else on the team,” Thomas told the sports magazine. “I’ve always viewed myself as just a swimmer. It’s what I’ve done for so long; it’s what I love. I get into the water every day and do my best.”
She added, “I just want to show trans kids and younger trans athletes that they’re not alone. They don’t have to choose between who they are and the sport they love.”
Reporting from The Blaze.