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Nadine Dorries calls for talks with all UK sports governing bodies in wake of FINA decision

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Nadine Dorries says she’s going to encourage British sports to follow swimming’s lead after its world governing body banned transgender athletes from elite women’s races.

The sports and culture minister says she backs the choice by FINA to forbid transgender athletes from competing in top level races in the event that they went through male puberty.

The international sports federation for swimming also vowed to establish an ‘open category’ which is able to separate transgender athletes to compete in a category of their very own. 

It comes following an intense debate over the inclusion of transgender athletes in women’s sports.

At the guts of the controversy has been US swimmer Lia Thomas, who sparked controversy after winning a women’s college event after transitioning in her late teens.

Under FINA’s recent ruling, transgender competitors can have needed to have accomplished their transition by the age of 12 with the intention to have the opportunity to compete in women’s competitions – meaning Thomas will now not be eligible to compete in female categories.

Asked in regards to the topic on LBC yesterday, shortly after FINA’s announcement, Ms Dorries said: ‘It’s just unacceptable that trans women compete in women’s sport.

‘I have been of the opinion FINA got here to today for a very long time, and have discussed this with my very own department and established a policy. 

‘I’ll encourage other sports (to do the identical)… We’re about to have a roundtable with the entire sports governing bodies.’

She also said in a Tweet, sharing the news of FINA’s ruling: ‘Well done, that is the correct and sensible decision.

Fairness should always take precedence over inclusion and needs to be unequivocal. Also vital that trans women should have the opportunity to compete in their very own class.’

Cabinet minister Nadine Dorries (pictured) says she’s going to encourage British sports to follow swimming’s lead after its world governing body banned transgender athletes from elite women’s races

It comes following an intense debate over the inclusion of transgender swimmers in female categories - including US swimmer Lia Thomas (pictured) who won a women's college event after transitioning in her late teens

It comes following an intense debate over the inclusion of transgender swimmers in female categories – including US swimmer Lia Thomas (pictured) who won a women’s college event after transitioning in her late teens

It comes after former Olympic swimmer Sharron Davies spoke of her ‘pride’ for the game after FINA’s announcement. 

Elite swimming is the primary sport to completely forbid transgender athletes from women’s swimming races in the event that they went through male puberty, FINA announced on Sunday.

The international sports federation for swimming is establishing an ‘open category’ which is able to separate transgender athletes to compete in a category of their very own.

The choice was made during FINA’s extraordinary general congress on the sidelines of the world championships in Budapest after members heard a report from a transgender task force comprising leading medical, legal and sports figures. 

British Olympian Sharron Davies MBE, who has advocated for equality and fairness in sport and has spoken out against transgender swimmers in women's races, tweeted of FINA's news

British Olympian Sharron Davies MBE, who has advocated for equality and fairness in sport and has spoken out against transgender swimmers in women’s races, tweeted of FINA’s news

British Olympian Sharron Davies MBE, who has advocated for equality and fairness in sport and has spoken out against transgender swimmers in women’s races, tweeted of FINA’s news.

She wrote: ‘I can’t let you know how proud I’m of my sport @fina & @fina_president for doing the science, asking the athletes/coaches and standing up for fair sport for females.

‘Swimming will all the time welcome everyone irrespective of the way you discover but fairness is the cornerstone of sport.’

Her tweet was in response to her own post from Friday, which read: ‘Once a male has undergone puberty there’ll all the time be a big retained performance advantage & bone structure.

‘Why are we asking females to just accept competing with a known drawback before we even start? Females should not men with less testosterone. Compete together with your sex.’

Davies lost out on gold within the 1980 Moscow Olympics to East German swimmer Petra Schneider, who was later pinged for doping with performance enhancing drugs, including testosterone. 

Husain Al-Musallam, president of FINA, announced the news on Sunday afternoon.

‘I are not looking for any athlete to be told they can’t compete at the best level,’ Al-Musallam told a congress of his organisation today.

‘I’ll arrange a working group to establish an open category at our meets. We might be the primary federation to do this.’

The brand new policy would require transgender competitors to have accomplished their transition by the age of 12 with the intention to have the opportunity to compete in women’s competitions.

The policy was passed with a 71 per cent majority after it was put to the members of 152 national federations with voting rights who had gathered for the congress on the Puskas Arena.

Around 15 per cent voted no to the policy on eligibility in the boys’s and ladies’s competition categories, while 13 per cent abstained.

Transgender rights has develop into a significant talking point as sports seek to balance inclusivity while ensuring there isn’t any unfair advantage.

The talk intensified after University of Pennsylvania swimmer Lia Thomas became the primary transgender NCAA champion in Division I history after winning the ladies’s 500-yard freestyle earlier this yr.

Thomas swam for the Pennsylvanian men’s team for 3 seasons before starting hormone substitute therapy in spring 2019.

Former Olympic swimmer Sharron Davies MBE, who has advocated for equality and fairness in sport and has spoken out against transgender swimmers in women's races, tweeted of FINA's news

Former Olympic swimmer Sharron Davies MBE, who has advocated for equality and fairness in sport and has spoken out against transgender swimmers in women’s races, tweeted of FINA’s news

A wave of doctors suggested Lia Thomas – and other trans female athletes – will all the time have an unfair advantage in some sports because they can’t undo puberty, when their biological male bodies were flooded with testosterone. 

Last month, Thomas said some ‘cisgender’ women, which is a term used to explain someone whose gender identity is similar as once they were born’, have more  testosterone, greater hands and feet and are taller than their competitors – so why should she banned when they don’t seem to be. 

‘I do not need anybody’s permission to be myself,’ she said.

She also said anyone who says she is not allowed to compete as a girl is transphobic, no matter whether or not they support her right to transition. 

‘You’ll be able to’t go halfway and be like “I support trans people but only to a certain point”. 

‘Should you support transwomen they usually’ve met all of the NCAA requirements, I do not know for those who can say something like that.’

Lia Thomas has only competed in American college swim meets to date, together with her last college event having been on the March 2022 NCAA (National Collegiate Athletic Association), which is the US college sports’ governing body.

But Thomas has since outlined her ambitions to compete within the Olympics. Talking to ABC News in May, she said: ‘It has been a goal of mine to swim at Olympic trials for a really very long time, and I might like to see that through.’

Under FINA’s ban, Thomas wouldn’t have the opportunity to compete in the ladies’s races, as a substitute collaborating in the brand new ‘open category’ for swimmers whose gender identity is different from their birth sex. 

In a previous interview with GB News, Davies said of the transgender issue in women’s sports: ‘We cant feel our way out of reality. If there’s an under 12s race and there is a 15-year-old that desires to “feel” its approach to the under 12s, you may’t try this.

‘Should you’re a heavyweight boxer and you ought to “feel” your way into the bantam weight, you may’t try this.

‘Should you’re a masters competer or you’ve got a disability and also you’re in a selected category within the Paralympics, you may’t “feel” your way right into a higher category where you’ve got a bonus, and that is the entire reason now we have female and male sport because otherwise just young men would win the whole lot.

‘So I don’t think that feelings should have the opportunity to trump biological reality and fact.’

The decision was made during FINA's extraordinary general congress on the sidelines of the world championships in Budapest after members heard a report from a transgender task force comprising leading medical, legal and sports figures. Swimmers pictured at the Women's 100m Breaststroke Semi Final on Sunday at the Budapest 2022 FINA World Championships

The choice was made during FINA’s extraordinary general congress on the sidelines of the world championships in Budapest after members heard a report from a transgender task force comprising leading medical, legal and sports figures. Swimmers pictured on the Women’s 100m Breaststroke Semi Final on Sunday on the Budapest 2022 FINA World Championships

‘Trans women should not a threat to women’s sport.’

In response to Sharron Davies’ tweet celebrating the news, many shared the identical view. One wrote: ‘Finally someone in sport has some commons sense. Now other sports must follow this instance.’

One other said: ‘It needs to be in all amateur sports as well, not only elite sports,’ and one other similarly added: ‘Now for the opposite sporting governing bodies.’

Sports scientist Ross Tucker tweeted: ‘Thanks FINA for listening to women, your personal swimmers and coaches, and to science in making a policy that respects women’s sport.’ 

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