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FINA Under Fire for Transgender Swimming Ban: All Women Will 'Suffer'

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announced the rule on Sunday alongside plans to create an "open" category for events for transgender women who want to compete.

The policy allows transgender women who transitioned before the age of 12 years old to compete in women's races.FINA defended the decision, noting "some individuals and groups may be uncomfortable with the use of medical and scientific terminology related to sex and sex-linked traits [but] some use of sensitive terminology is needed to be precise about the sex characteristics that justify separate competition categories."Transgender athletes competing in women's swimming races became a hotly debated topic this spring, as Lia Thomas, a University of Pennsylvania swimmer, became the first openly transgender woman to win an NCAA Division I title in any event.Her win sparked a high-profile debate about whether or not transgender women have an unfair advantage over cisgender women in sports, with critics saying Thomas would not have seen the same level of success while competing on the men's team even as the transgender community argues that forcing trans women to swim in men's races would be invalidating.FINA's rule change, which went into effect on Monday, was met with mixed remarks.

While some athletes, including former Olympian Caitlyn Jenner, a transgender woman herself, praised the decision, a spate of the criticism stemmed from those who believe transgender women should be allowed to compete on women's sports teams.

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