Florida Governor Ron DeSantis has disqualified transgender swimmer Lia Thomas from the national college swimming competition in the United States.
After defeating Emma Weyant last week, Thomas became the first known transgender athlete to win the title.
De Sanctis, a Republican governor, has signed a proclamation declaring Emma Weyant, the runner-up, the winner of the event, which she lost to transgender athlete Lia Thomas.
Lia was born a man who transitioned to a woman and has since won all of her swimming competitions. DeSantis stated the outcome “undermined the dignity of the competition” after winning the women’s 500-yard freestyle in Atlanta. Thomas, a University of Pennsylvania swimmer, won the event in Atlanta in four minutes and 33.24 seconds.
Emma Weyant, of Sarasota, Florida, who won 400m individual medley silver at the Tokyo Olympics, finished 1.75secs behind in second.
DeSantis criticized the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) for allowing Thomas to compete.
He said: “The NCAA is basically taking efforts to destroy women’s athletics, they’re trying to undermine the integrity of the competition and they’re crowning somebody else the women’s champion and we think that’s wrong.
“They are putting ideology ahead of opportunity for women athletes and I think that there are just some people that are afraid to speak out and say what they are doing, but that is what they are doing.”
In response, World Athletics president Lord Coe has issued a warning over the future of women’s sport if sporting organizations get regulations for transgender athletes wrong.
“I think that the integrity of women’s sport if we don’t get this right, and actually the future of women’s sport, is very fragile,” Coe said.