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Tipsheet

New Senate Ad Targets Biological Male Athletes ‘Pretending to Be Women’

AP Photo/Mark Scheifelbein, File

A new ad in the Missouri Republican Senate primary targets William “Lia” Thomas, a biological male swimmer who is competing on the women’s swim team at the University of Pennsylvania.

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The ad, which was put out by Rep. Vicky Hartzler, a Republican, who is running to replace GOP Sen. Roy Blunt, who is retiring. As I’ve covered, Thomas competed on the men’s swim team at UPenn for three seasons before competing on the women’s team. Since making the switch, Thomas has broken several women’s swimming records and is eligible to compete in the Ivy League championships this week.

“Meet William Thomas, ranked No. 462 in men’s swimming. Meet Lia Thomas, ranked No. 1 in women’s swimming,” Hartzler said in the ad, showing side-by-side photos of “William” Thomas and “Lia” Thomas. 

“Only one problem: it’s the same person,” Hartzler continued. “Some people are afraid to talk about it.”

“I ran and coached girl's track and I won’t look away while woke liberals destroy women’s sports,” she concluded. “Women’s sports are for women. Not men pretending to be women.”

This month, I reported how Thomas has been at the center of controversy after crushing two women’s records at a swim competition late last year. In the 1,650-yard freestyle, the runner-up finished 38 seconds behind Thomas. As a result, the NCAA came out with updated transgender athlete guidelines that allowed the governing body of each sport to decide its own policy.

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Shortly after, USA Swimming unveiled a new policy pertaining to biological males who want to compete on a women’s swim team at the elite level. The new policy requires that the swimmer must show a concentration of testosterone in their blood that is less than 5 nanomoles per liter continuously for at least 36 months and be evaluated by a panel of three medical experts. However, the policy does not impact all age groups and does not affect non-elite levels of swim competition. Since Thomas competed on the men’s swim team for three consecutive seasons, some speculated that Thomas would not be eligible to compete on the women’s swim team going forward.

Following USA Swimming’s announcement, sixteen anonymous members of the UPenn women’s swim team penned a letter to their school and Ivy League officials requesting that they do not pursue legal action against the NCAA’s trasngender policy that could bar Thomas from competing.

“We fully support Lia Thomas in her decision to affirm her gender identity and to transition from a man to a woman. Lia has every right to live her life authentically,” the letter read. “However, we also recognize that when it comes to sports competition, that the biology of sex is a separate issue from someone’s gender identity. Biologically, Lia holds an unfair advantage over competition in the women’s category, as evidenced by her rankings that have bounced from #462 as a male to #1 as a female. If she were to be eligible to compete against us, she could now break Penn, Ivy, and NCAA Women’s Swimming records; feats she could never have done as a male athlete.”

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The letter was sent by Olympic swimming gold medalist Nancy Hogshead-Makar, who told The Washington Post in a telephone interview that she sent the letter on the swimmers’ behalf so they could avoid retaliation.

According to the Post, the swimmers claim they were told they “would be removed from the team or that we would never get a job offer” if they spoke out against Thomas.

Last week, Ivy League officials told Swimming World Magazine in an email that Thomas would not be affected by the updated guidelines and could continue to compete against biological women.

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