As Olympics approach, Thomas excluded from women's 'elite events'

As Olympics approach, Thomas excluded from women's 'elite events'

As Olympics approach, Thomas excluded from women's 'elite events'

A reporter says it makes "total sense" for a male swimmer to not be allowed to compete in girls' higher-level competitions.

William "Lia" Thomas is a male swimmer who has been dominating women's competitions for years, denying females like Riley Gaines their rightful titles in the sport. But now, the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) has dismissed his legal request that the Swiss-based court get rid of a policy keeping him from competing in women's elite competitions.

Specifically, the arbitral award says Thomas "is currently only entitled to compete in USA Swimming events that do not qualify as 'Elite Events.'"

Joyce, Tom (NewBostonPost) Joyce

"I think this makes complete and total sense," NewBostonPost reporter Tom Joyce responds. "This organization in question, World Aquatics, has it so that males can only compete in certain events. They cannot compete in the elite events on the women's side."

Still, in deeming Thomas ineligible to compete in elite competitions through World Aquatics or USA Swimming "for the time being," Joyce thinks CAS is trying to "thread the needle" to allow some level of "transgender" participation without allowing men to take titles away from women in certain events.

"Personally, I don't agree with that approach," the reporter tells AFN. "I think that males should compete against other males, and females should compete against other females. That's the easiest, simplest way to do it that protects the integrity of any sport."

While he would like to see CAS go further and "just embrace basic biology," Joyce respects the private organization's right to make its own rules and calls this decision against Thomas "absolutely positive news" and a step in the right direction.

Thomas is not on the preliminary entry list for the U.S. Olympic swimming trials, which begin this weekend in Indianapolis ahead of the start of the 2024 Paris Olympics next month.