A parent of a UPenn swimmer said his daughter and ‘a good number’ of teammates are furious and ‘crying on the pool deck’ because feel they can no longer compete fairly with trans swimmer Lia Thomas on their team.
The parent, speaking under the condition of anonymity with Fox News, also bashed the NCAA after they decided to ‘cop-out’ and pass the buck on trans athlete guidelines to the sports organization, and he demanded USA Swimming step up and ‘do the right thing.’
‘USA Swimming oversees all swimming in the United States, and I think if they really have courage they could craft a policy in such a way that tells little girls that USA Swimming has their best interests as well.’ he said, adding that his daughter has been angry about the whole situation and claimed she lost spots on relay races because of Thomas.
‘She has given this sport everything she has, and she feels like some of it’s been taken away,’ he said.
The father’s statements comes after a UPenn swimmer accused Thomas, 22, of plotting to lose to a trans Yale swimmer in early January to ‘prove that a woman can beat her,’ and take heat off of Thomas after garnering controversy for smashing UPenn women’s records.
The father of a UPenn swimmer claimed his daughter and some of her teammates were upset and no longer able to compete fairly with trans swimmer Lia Thomas (above)
Thomas, pictured on January 8, has garnered controversy after transitioning to a woman and entering UPenn’s women’s swim team, smashing records
The father of one of the teammates said team morale was bad and that teammates were afraid to speak up because they could be labeled transphobic. He urged USA Swimming to pass clear guidelines on trans athletes. Pictured, the team at the beach on January 3 (circled, Thomas)
Passing the buck on trans athlete ruling
Wednesday: The NCAA Board of Governors issued that transgender participation for each sport will be determined by the policy for that sport’s nation governing body
‘In other words, at present, for swimming, this means that there is now no testosterone suppression requirement, as neither FINA nor USA Swimming have published one,’ a spokesperson for the NCAA said
Thursday: USA Swimming said it would allow ‘non-elite’ athletes to compete in a way that is ‘consistent with their gender identity’
But the organization did not elaborate on whether trans swimmers like Thomas are considered ‘elite’
USA Swimming deferred regulations on elite athletes to the international swimming federation, FINA
FINA has yet to announce rulings on how elite trans athletes can compete
Like many of Thomas’s critics on the team, the accusing teammate also spoke under anonymity because they feared being labeled transphobic.
The father who spoke to Fox echoed these worries and said the team could ‘have their future threatened’ if they openly came out and criticize Thomas.
He added that there has been a lot of ‘crying on the pool deck’ over the situation.
‘They don’t agree with what Lia’s doing and they’re really unhappy with the situation,’ he said. ‘Morale is bad.’
USA Swimming, which oversees more than 360,000 members, released a statement on Thursday after the NCAA Board of Governors said they will update their guidelines on ‘non-elite’ trans athletes to follow the wishes of each sport’s governing body.
USA Swimming announced it would allow ‘non-elite’ athletes to compete in a way that is ‘consistent with their gender identity,’ but did not make clear whether transgender swimmers like Thomas are considered elite.
It said it would ultimately defer its decisions to FINA, which has yet to put out official guidelines.
‘USA Swimming firmly believes in inclusivity and the opportunity for all athletes to experience the sport of swimming in a manner consistent with their gender identity and expression,’ the statement read.
‘We also strongly believe in competitive equity, and, like many, are doing our best to learn and educate ourselves on the appropriate balance in this space.’
The statement cited the International Olympic Committee guidelines on transgender participation, which are already outdated as the IOC now requires Sports federation, otherwise known as FINA, to create its own sport-by-sport-eligibility requirements in regards to transgender athletes.
USA Swimming and FINA did not immediately respond to DailyMail.com’s request for comment.
The confusion comes as a UPenn swimmer told Outkick.com that she believes Thomas colluded with Yale transgender swimmer Iszac Henig during a 100-freestyle race on January 8.
Henig, 20, is transitioning from female to male but has delayed hormone therapy to remain eligible for the women’s team.
Henig defeated Thomas in the 100-yard freestyle, finishing with a time of 49.57, more than three seconds ahead of Thomas, who finished sixth with a time of 52.84.
The teammate, who remained anonymous to avoid threats from the university and activists, said she believes Thomas and Henig planned before the Penn home tri-meet with Yale and Dartmouth earlier this month.
‘Looking at (Lia’s) time, I don’t think she was trying,’ she told Outkick. ‘I know they’re friends and I know they were talking before the meet. I think she (Thomas) let her win to prove the point that, ”Oh see, a female-to-male beat me.”
Henig told the New York Times in July that he was not taking hormones because he still wanted to compete
Pennsylvania’s Lia Thomas, pictured, looks on in the warm-up pool during a swim meet, Saturday, January 8, 2022, in Philadelphia
When asked if she thought that Thomas threw the meet, the teammate said she was convinced. ‘I do. I can’t say for sure, but I wouldn’t be shocked if I found out that was 100% true,’ Thomas’ she said.
The anonymous teammate also accused Thomas of throwing another race, the 200-yard freestyle, where she finished in 1.48.73. Her closest competitor was just two seconds behind her.
‘I was on deck and said to a friend, “She’s literally not trying.” You could just tell,’ she told OutKick. ‘It was blatantly obvious. I was watching the 200 free and she was literally keeping pace with the other girls.’
‘She was No. 1 in the country at one point. These are definitely talented swimmers, but they’re not the caliber of being at the top in the country or anything like that,’ the teammate continued.
‘You can tell when someone is dying and they’re swimming slow,” the swimmer added. “You can also tell when someone is not trying and I could see (in the 200 freestyle) that Lia was not trying,’ she added.