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Aussie swimming star backs FINA’s ‘gender inclusion policy’

Aussie swimming star backs FINA’s ‘gender inclusion policy’

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Cate Campbell, a four-time Olympic gold medalist in swimming for Australia, backed FINA’s new policies on the participation of transgender athletes on Monday.

In a speech to the FINA Congress, Campbell said the separation of gender categories in swimming is one of the only reasons women can be considered equal in sport. She said removing the accolade “would be to the detriment of female athletes around the world”.

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Cate Campbell of Team Australia reacts after winning the gold medal and breaking the Olympic record in the women's 4x100m medley relay final on day nine of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games at the Aquatics Center in Tokyo on August 1, 2021 in Tokyo, Japan.

Cate Campbell of Team Australia reacts after winning the gold medal and breaking the Olympic record in the women’s 4x100m medley relay final on day nine of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games at the Aquatics Center in Tokyo on August 1, 2021 in Tokyo, Japan.
(Al Bello/Getty Images)

“We see you, appreciate you and accept you. My role, however, is also to stand here, having asked our world governing body, FINA, to investigate, deliberate and defend the cornerstone of the fairness in elite women’s competition,” she said. , via The Guardian. “And it pains me that this part of my role can hurt, exasperate and potentially alienate people from an already marginalized trans community.”

She said she thought about what she was going to say and came to the conclusion that whatever she said on the subject would “anger” people.

“However, I ask everyone to breathe, to absorb before reacting. Listen to the science and the experts. Listen to the people who stand up here and tell you how difficult it has been to reconcile inclusion and equity,” a- she added. “The fact that men and women are physiologically different cannot be disputed. We are only just beginning to explore and understand the origins of these physiological differences and the lasting effects of exposure to different hormones.

FINA MEDICAL OFFICER HOPE POLICIES ON TRANSGENDER ATHLETES ARE A MODEL FOR OTHER SPORTS

Cate Campbell of Australia after the presentation of the 4x100m Medley Relay gold medal during the Swimming Finals at the Tokyo Aquatics Center at the Tokyo 2020 Summer Olympics on August 1, 2021 in Tokyo, Japan.

Cate Campbell of Australia after the presentation of the 4x100m Medley Relay gold medal during the Swimming Finals at the Tokyo Aquatics Center at the Tokyo 2020 Summer Olympics on August 1, 2021 in Tokyo, Japan.
(Tim Clayton/Corbis via Getty Images)

“Women, who have fought long and hard to be included and seen as equals in sport, can only do so because of the distinction between gender categories. Removing this distinction would be to the detriment of female athletes in the world. whole world.”

The “gender inclusion policy” will only allow swimmers who transitioned before the age of 12 to compete in women’s events. FINA members voted 71.5% in favor of the new policies. The decisions came into effect on Monday.

FINA has established specific eligibility criteria in a 24-page policy. There was also a proposal for a new “open competition policy”. The organization said it was setting up “a new task force that will spend the next six months looking at the most effective ways to implement this new category.”

The Australian Olympic Committee also supported FINA’s decision.

A logo of the is the international governing body for swimming, diving, water polo, synchronized swimming and open water swimming, FINA is displayed during the FINA World Championships in Rome on July 25, 2009.

A logo of the is the international governing body for swimming, diving, water polo, synchronized swimming and open water swimming, FINA is displayed during the FINA World Championships in Rome on July 25, 2009.
(MARTIN OFFICE/AFP via Getty Images)

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“While inclusivity must be upheld, fairness in competition is a core value of sport,” a spokesman for the Australian Olympic Committee told Reuters. “FINA made a decision based on the circumstances in the sport of swimming to achieve this balance.”

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