Women 'discriminated against' in sport due to trans participation, ex-GB athlete claims

19 March 2022, 09:54 | Updated: 19 March 2022, 09:58

By Seán Hickey

GB Olympic medallist Sharron Davies MBE says women have 'lost the ability to win their own races' because trans athletes compete in female categories.

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"Athletes have been silenced, coaches have been silenced, people have been silenced from voicing their honest concerns" about trans inclusion in female sport, Sharron Davies told Andrew Castle, following controversy over Lia Thomas' victory in a college swim meet in the USA.

Ms Thomas, 22, made history on Thursday night by becoming the first transgender person to win a National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division I title. She transitioned in 2019 and has competed in women's NCAA swimming since 2020.

Read more: Rachel Johnson asks if a 'Trans Olympics' would be fairer to natal and trans women

Her participation in female sport reached headlines in recent months after winning a national swim meet by a margin of nearly 2 seconds, beating an Olympic silver medallist in the process.

Ms Davies argued that "Lia Thomas is still a male", stating that because Ms Thomas has gone through male puberty she has an advantage over her competitors even before hormones come into the debate.

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"Women are going to lose the ability to win their own races."

Andrew backed Ms Davies' points, stating that the ethical concerns are "so obvious". The former GB athlete called for a "protected female classification and an open, inclusive classification" to solve the issue.

"Women are now being discriminated against in their own category of sport" she went on, telling listeners that "we spend millions around the world to stop people cheating with drugs", suggesting that trans athletes gain an advantage on par with doping.

"The conversation has been closed down and that's the toxic part."