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Caitlyn Jenner Says Lia Thomas Is Not The Rightful Winner Of NCAA Championship

Caitlyn Jenner Says Lia Thomas Is Not The Rightful Winner Of NCAA Championship

Last week, Thomas became the first openly trans athlete to win a NCAA Division I national championship

Retired Olympic decathlete Caitlyn Jenner has said that she does not believe Lia Thomas was the ‘rightful’ winner of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Championship, saying the victory should have gone to runner-up Emma Weyant. 

Last week, Thomas became the first openly trans athlete to win a NCAA Division I national championship after taking first place in the 500-yard freestyle event with a time of 4:33:24. The 22-year-old University of Pennsylvania swimmer hit the wall more than a second-and-a-half ahead of Weyant, who finished in 4:34.99, while Erica Sullivan - a silver medallist in the 1500m at the Tokyo Olympics last year - came third with a time of 4:35:92. 

Lia Thomas competing back in January.

Thomas’ win elicited a polarised reaction from the crowd, with some people clapping as others booed when she stepped onto the podium to collect her medal – a difference of opinion that has also been echoed on social media. 

Jenner, who publicly came out as a trans woman in 2015, has taken to Twitter to criticise the outcome of the championships, saying that it would be 'common sense' if 20-year-old Weyant had won. 

Responding to a TMZ news story about Governor Ron DeSantis ‘denouncing transgender swimmer Lia Thomas’ NCAA championship win’, in which he was quoted as saying Weyant was the ‘rightful winner’, Jenner tweeted: “@GovRonDeSantis agreed! She is the rightful winner!” 

She added: “It’s not transphobic or anti-trans, it’s COMMON SENSE!” 

On 17 March, after Pink News tweeted to say that Jenner had launched ‘yet another disgraceful attack on trans athletes without a hint of irony’, the former Olympian also tweeted: “No, I just had the balls to stand up for women and girls in sports.” 

Two days later, she posted to say that the industry needs ‘federal legislation protecting women’s sports’, and that she would be ‘eager and willing to work with members of Congress to put an end to this politically correct “woke” madness!’ This, she said, would help protect the integrity of women in sport. 

Earlier this year, USA Swimming proposed a new policy that stated trans women must have recorded low testosterone levels for 36 months to compete.Thomas had already applied for the championship despite only receiving 34 months of treatment at the time, leaving her fate up in the air. 


But the NCAA subcommittee said weeks later the policy of testosterone guidance wouldn’t be changed, which allowed Thomas to compete. They wrote in a statement: "Implementing additional changes at this time could have unfair and potentially detrimental impacts on schools and student-athletes intending to compete in 2022 NCAA women's swimming championships." 

The NCAA subcommittee went on to say the proposed policy and ongoing debate about the future of transgender athletes ‘will be part of the subcommittee’s future analysis when recommending additional updates to eligibility requirements’. 

After her victory, Thomas told Former Olympian and ESPN reporter Elizabeth Beisel, that she tries her best to ‘ignore’ her critics and her controversy, saying: "I try to ignore it as much as I can, I try to focus on my swimming and what I need to do to get ready for my races and I just try to block out everything else. It means the world to be here, to be with two of my best friend and teammates and be able to compete." 

Featured Image Credit: Alamy/Shutterstock

Topics: Celebrity, Sport