NCAA Reviewing Its Policy on Transgender Athletes
The National Collegiate Athletic Association’s (NCAA) board is set to review its transgender athlete policy amid various studies showing that its current rule requiring male-to-female athletes to undergo one year of testosterone suppression therapy may not be sufficient to ensure fairness in women’s sports.
The issue has gained national attention as Lia Thomas, a transgender swimmer for the University of Pennsylvania, has made headlines for smashing records at women’s swim meets.
Thomas, who switched to the women’s team in 2020 after spending three years on the men’s team, has received testosterone suppression therapy for more than two years.
An NCAA spokesperson told Fox News Digital that the NCAA’s board of governors is expected to review the policy during a meeting this week and issue a statement at that time.
A recent study by the Macdonald–Laurier Institute found that “there is neither a medical intervention nor a clever philosophical argument that can make it fair for trans women to compete in women’s sport.”
“For trans women who have successfully suppressed testosterone for 12 months, the extent of muscle/strength loss is only an approximately (and modest) -5% after 12 months,” the researchers wrote. “Testosterone suppression does not remove the athletic advantage acquired under high testosterone conditions at puberty, while the male musculoskeletal advantage is retained.”
Joanna Harper, a transgender competitive runner and medical physicist at Britain’s Loughborough University, said there’s “absolutely no question” that trans women will maintain strength advantages over cisgender women, even after testosterone suppression.
“That’s based on my clinical experience, rather than published data, but I would say there’s zero doubt in my mind,” Harper said in an interview last July.