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.”