UPenn Trans Swimmer Defends Record Smashing Win Streak, Praises IOC for ‘Inclusivity’

Lia Thomas

The man on the University of Pennsylvania’s women’s swim team is speaking out in the wake of outrage of his breaking records and smashing the aspirations of his female teammates by claiming hormone treatment has affected his abilities. 

Lia Thomas, who competed on the university’s men’s team for three years before “transitioning” to be a woman — told the Daily Mail about taking hormones for more than two years before joining the women’s team — almost six years after he started his college career.

“I’ve experienced a lot of muscle loss and strength loss,’ Thomas said, adding that he takes estrogen and testosterone blockers every day.

The Daily Mail reported on Thomas’ interview with a swimming publication: 

In a 26-minute interview to SwimSwam, which covers college and Olympic swimming news, the transgender swimmer praised the fairness of the controversial IOC guidelines on inclusivity that keep ‘competitional integrity going’ and allow her to compete as a woman after undergoing at least one year of hormone therapy.

An anonymous female swimmer at UPenn gave an explosive interview to sports website OutKick on Thursday expressing her fury and frustration, and how she and most of her female teammates are upset because their coach, Mike Schnur, is allowing a transgender athlete to take a woman’s spot because he ‘just really likes winning.’

The unidentified female swimmer would only speak to OutKick on the condition of anonymity because she’s afraid that making comments about a trans athlete will hurt her chances of getting a job after she graduates. The female UPenn swimmer noted that while Thomas is already breaking records that aren’t achievable for female swimmers, she said if Lia ‘gets back down to Will Thomas’ best times, those numbers are female world records.’

“Faster than all the times Katie Ledecky went in college. Faster than any other Olympian you can think of,” she said. “His times in three events are [female] world records.”

In his interview with SwimSwam, Thomas praised the changes in the International Olympic Committee (IOC) rules that allow biological men to compete against biological females even without hormone treatment.

“I think the guidelines they set forward are very good and do a very good job of promoting inclusivity while keeping competitional integrity going,” he said.

Thomas claimed teammates supported him, but the woman interviewed by Outkick said that support is “fake.”

“When the whole team is together, we have to be like, ‘Oh my gosh, go, Lia, that’s great, you’re amazing.’ It’s very fake,” she said.

“Pretty much everyone individually has spoken to our coaches about not liking this,’ the athlete told Outkick. ‘Our coach just really likes winning. He’s like most coaches. I think secretly everyone just knows it’s the wrong thing to do.”

Sports performance coach Linda Blade responded to Thomas’ most recent event by saying: ‘Well, of course, women’s records are being smashed! Lia competed as a male for the first three years in #NCAA. This is not right!

‘We need to return to #SexBasedSports! #SexNotGender to preserve fairness for female athletes.’

Follow Penny Starr on Twitter


Please let us know if you're having issues with commenting.