Florida governor Ron DeSantis rejects transgender swimmer Lia Thomas’ win, chooses runner up as the winner of US national college Women’s swimming title

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Florida governor Ron DeSantis rejects transgender swimmer Lia Thomas' win, chooses runner up as the winner of US national college Women's swimming title

Florida governor Ron DeSantis has rejected transgender swimmer, Lia Thomas win in the US national college swimming event.

Last week Thomas became the first known transgender athlete to win the title, after beating Emma Weyant.

However, De Sanctis, a Republican governor has signed a proclamation recognising runner-up Emma Weyant as the winner of the event which she lost to transgender athlete Lia Thomas.

Lia was born a man, but transitioned to a woman and has been winning all her swimming events ever since.

After taking victory in the women’s 500-yard freestyle in Atlanta, DeSantis said the result “undermined the integrity of the competition”.

Thomas, who swims for the University of Pennsylvania, secured the title in four minutes 33.24 seconds in Atlanta.

Emma Weyant, of Sarasota, Florida, who won 400m individual medley silver at the Tokyo Olympics, finished 1.75secs behind in second.

DeSantis criticised the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) for allowing Thomas to compete.

He said: “The NCAA is basically taking efforts to destroy women’s athletics, they’re trying to undermine the integrity of the competition and they’re crowning somebody else the women’s champion and we think that’s wrong.

 

“They are putting ideology ahead of opportunity for women athletes and I think that there are just some people that are afraid to speak out and say what they are doing, but that is what they are doing.”

In response, the World Athletics president Lord Coe has issued a warning over the future of women’s sport if sporting organisations get regulations for transgender athletes wrong.

“I think that the integrity of women’s sport if we don’t get this right, and actually the future of women’s sport, is very fragile,” Coe said.

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