USA Swimming to Follow IOC’s Transgender Policies for Summer Junior Nationals

All athletes competing at USA Swimming‘s 2020 Summer Nationals will have to abide by the International Olympic Committee’s policies for transgender athletes, according to USA Swimming‘s Board of Directors meeting minutes released last month, which is a change of policy from what was implemented in 2018.

In October 2018, USA Swimming‘s House of Delegates voted to allow athletes below Junior or Senior National Team level to compete in their “stated competition category” regarding whether they identify as male or female “for the purpose of athlete swimming eligibility, competition, selection and records.” Should someone wish to refute an athlete’s stated gender, their protest would be heard by the National Eligibility Appeal Panel, and the athlete would be allowed to continue in their competition category until the protest is addressed by the Panel.

USA Swimming confirmed to SwimSwam at the time of the vote that it will recognize standards (including national age group records) set by transgender age group swimmers in their stated gender category

But for an athlete to make the Junior or Senior National Team, regardless of age, USA Swimming‘s original decision included that they must meet medical requirements including (but not limited to) that of USADA’s drug-testing pool and the US and International Olympic Committee’s medical criteria for competition.

According to the most recent meeting notes, policies have been tightened to an extent. Now, transgender athletes – specifically those who identify as female – attending Summer Junior Nationals or higher competitions must abide by IOC policies.

IOC policies state the following:

  • Those who transition from male to female are eligible to compete in the female category under the following conditions:
    • The athlete has declared that her gender identity is female. The declaration cannot be changed, for sporting purposes, for a minimum of four years.
    • The athlete must demonstrate that her total testosterone level in serum has been below 10 nmol/L for at least 12 months prior to her first competition (with the requirement for any longer period to be based on a confidential case-by-case evaluation, considering whether or not 12 months is a sufficient length of time to minimize any advantage in women’s competition).
    • The athlete’s total testosterone level in serum must remain below 10 nmol/L throughout the period of desired eligibility to compete in the female category.
    • Compliance with these conditions may be monitored by testing. In the event of noncompliance, the athlete’s eligibility for female competition will be suspended for 12 months.

USA Swimming also noted that it is “constantly monitoring developments” across all sports in this policy area in order to “to best prepare the organization for its first elite transgender athlete, specifically trans female.”

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2 years ago

Pretty simple. Born as a dude, compete as a dude and vice versa. All this trans stuff is rather ridiculous IMHO and the death of women’s athletics. Real Women need to stand up strong for their sports.

2 years ago

Women’s Swimming is officially over. It was a good run. Or swim, I suppose.

2 years ago

Why are trans women allowed to have five times the testosterone levels that women have?
10 nmol/L is a low level for a man, but still within male range. Women’s testosterone levels range between 0.5 – 2.4 nmol/L.
None of this makes sense.

Swim mom
2 years ago

What can parents, swimmers and coaches say or “do” to USA Swimming about the unfair advantage? Some big names in the swimming world need to speak up. It is hard to support trans women in sports when they have gone through puberty as a male and the testosterone level is still allowed to be that high…
Will the women be allowed take testosterone and keep the level at 10???

2 years ago

I love it when trans rights activists try to lecture on the non existent advantages in swimming for those born male and go through male puberty as if it is similar to someone who was born tall. Pacific swimming and other LSCs assign A and B times to 8 and Unders and they are identical for both boys and girls. Anyone around 8 and under swim meets knows that girls often do beat the boys especially the ones who develop/grow early. At 10 years old the difference in AAAA times for the 50 free SCY between boys and girls is 0.3sec – 27.39 for boys and 27.69 for girls. At 11 years old, the difference is again 0.3 sec. At… Read more »

2 years ago

I know a transgender male to female, and the criteria to become female on passport but not birth certificate, is removal of the testicles and take lots of estrogen and blockers

2 years ago

Wiik, Lundberg et al, researchers from Sweden’s Karolinska Institute, recently published a paper blowing the whistle about just how big an advantage trans women (TW) retain, even on estrogen, and even after trans-identified females (trans men, TM) have had testosterone hormone therapy.

“Conclusion: Cross-sex hormone treatment markedly affects muscle strength, size and composition in transgender individuals. Despite the robust increases in muscle mass and strength in TM, the TW were still stronger and had more muscle mass following 12 months of treatment. ”

As for 10 nanomoles of testosterone per liter of blood – it’s a complete joke. The normal male range is 7.7 to 29.something, so 10 is above the normal range for some men. And the usual female… Read more »

2 years ago

This seems to be about one side, effecting another, not both ways. Men, transitioning to female. Why are we not having the conversation as to why there are not women, who are transitioning to male, demanding to compete against men? This has huge implications regarding Title IX. I see lawsuits flying in the future.

Reply to  KRW
2 years ago

They’re already allowed to compete against men without any restrictions because they have no s-e-x derived biological advantage so there’s no need to demand. If anything they are at a disadvantage.

M d e
Reply to  Troyy
2 years ago

They definitely are at a disadvantage. That harvard one went from being very good to frankly pretty terrible.

About Torrey Hart

Torrey Hart

Torrey is from Oakland, CA, and majored in media studies and American studies at Claremont McKenna College, where she swam distance freestyle for the Claremont-Mudd-Scripps team. Outside of SwimSwam, she has bylines at Sports Illustrated, Yahoo Sports, SB Nation, and The Student Life newspaper.

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