Trans swimmer Lia Thomas loses legal battle to compete at this year’s Olympics

Graham Robson June 13, 2024

Trans swimmer Lia Thomas, who rose to prominence after she won the US’ highest college title back in March 2022, has lost her legal battle to compete at this year’s Olympics in Paris.

Following that win, the swimming’s governing body, World Aquatics (WA), introduced rule changes that would bar anyone who has undergone “any part of male puberty” from competing in the female category.

In response to the ruling, Thomas launched a legal challenge, asking the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) to overturn the rules because they were, she argued, invalid, unlawful and discriminatory.

However, her case was thrown out on a technicality because Thomas was “simply not entitled to engage with eligibility to compete in WA competitions such as the Olympics or World Championships” as she was no longer a member of US swimming.

The decision ends any remaining hopes Thomas had of competing in the Olympics.

The three-judge panel added: “The panel concludes that she lacks standing to challenge the policy and the operational requirements in the framework of the present proceeding.”

WA said it welcomed the CAS decision and said: “We believe is a major step forward in our efforts to protect women’s sport.”