NCAA Provides New Policy for Transgender Student-Athletes

In Summary

The collegiate agency mirrors the U.S. and International Olympic Committees by adopting a sport-by-sport testing approach for transgender athletes. 

The National Collegiate Athletic Association sent out a press release Wednesday detailing its update to its transgender participation policy, mirroring the practices of the U.S. and International Olympic Committees.  

That sport’s national governing body will determine the new NCAA policy on transgender participation in a specific sport. If there is no governing body, that sport’s international federation policy will take precedent. The previously established IOC will govern if there is no international federation policy.  

“Transgender student-athletes will need to document sport-specific testosterone levels beginning four weeks before their sport’s championship selections,” the NCAA said in a press release. “Starting with the 2022-23 academic year, transgender student-athletes will need documented levels at the beginning of their season and a second documentation six months after the first. They will also need documented testosterone levels four weeks before championship selections.”  

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The policy changes came from an incident with swimmer Lia Thomas of the University of Pennsylvania Quakers, who transitioned to female. Following her transition, Thomas was deemed eligible to compete as a woman. She broke several records during the Pennsylvania female swim team competition. 

Over the past two years, Thomas has received treatment, which has drastically decreased her testosterone levels from her team competing in male swimming competitions. 

In an interview with Fox News, Caitlyn Jenner addressed the attention centered around Thomas, saying she “does not need to do this.” 

“I respect her decision to live her life authentically,” Jenner said to Fox News. “100%. But that also comes with responsibility and some integrity. I don’t know why she’s doing this.” 

Jenner also added “It’s also not good for women’s sports. It’s unfortunate that this is happening.” Jenner won a gold Olympic medal in 1976 before she transitioned.

The previous NCAA policy permitted male swimmers to compete as female following one year of testosterone suppression.  

“We are steadfast in our support of transgender student-athletes and the fostering of fairness across college sports,” NCAA board chair and Georgetown University president John DeGioia said in a statement. “It is important that NCAA member schools, conferences and college athletes compete in an inclusive, fair, safe and respectful environment and can move forward with a clear understanding of the new policy.”  

RELATED: Black Trans Actor Claims Gender-Neutral Request Caused ‘Hamilton’ Firing 

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