New rules of the international swimming federation Fina have made it impossible for transgender women to compete at a high level in international swimming competitions. "This is a measure for a non-existent problem," says sports philosopher Sandra Meeuwsen in the Volkskrant.
Sports organisations struggle
How big is the problem? Worldwide, there are only a few cases of transgender people who want to compete against the best sportswomen. Because the numbers are so small, the Fina is devising a measure for a non-existent problem, says Sandra Meeuwsen, philosopher and director of the Erasmus Centre for Sport Integrity & Transition.
"There is no influx of dozens of trans women taking over the sport, which leads to a distortion of competition. But I do fear that other sports will follow after this decision." Meeuwsen sees sports organisations struggling with the issue. "This way they can get rid of it easily. They don't have to do any more tests on testosterone or muscle mass. But one adolescent is not the other at the age of 12."
If it is up to world swimming federation Fina, there will be an open category for transgender people in the future to ensure that they can still take part in international competitions. "I wonder if that will happen," says philosopher Meeuwsen, who thinks there are not enough athletes who fit into that category. "Maybe it would be better to look at whether the separation between men's and women's sports still fits in this gender-fluid age."