Florida Governor Ron DeStantis has refused to recognise Lia Thomas as the winner of a college swimming race, over ongoing debate of the participation of transgender athletes in sport.
Thomas won the women’s 500-yard freestyle event in Atlanta, Georgia last week – making her the first transgender woman in history to become a NCAA champion.
DeStantis said, in a statement:
“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.”
US Swimming have recently introduced new guidelines aiming to allow transgender athletes to compete at elite level while reducing any unfair advantage they may have.
However, the NCAA said it would not be implementing any new rules until next season, meaning Thomas was able to continue to compete for the remainder of the college year.