Women’s group CEO dissects Lia Thomas controversy: Not possible for ‘trans woman to roll back male puberty’

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Champion Women has become one of the first major women’s advocacy groups to speak out on transgender athletes following the controversy after Lia Thomas’ recent sweep of the NCAA women’s swimming championships.

CEO of Champion Women, Nancy Hogshead-Makar, spoke to Fox News Digital on the continued inclusion of transgender athletes in women’s sports. Most prominently in recent weeks, biological male Lia Thomas has dominated various swimming competitions at NCAA tournaments – a case that Hogshead-Makar finds inexcusable.

“Trans women don’t need to win every time to be able to make the ‘unfairness’ case,” Hogshead-Makar told Fox News Digital in an exclusive statement. “If there were hormone suppression regimens that effectively eliminated the male-puberty advantage, I would think that trans women’s inclusion was fair. If a trans woman was ranked similarly as a man to their rankings post-transition as a woman, if they lost the percentage that men generally have over women in that sport and event, I’d think that was fair.”


“But what Lia Thomas has shown us is that … the research is correct … it is not possible for a trans woman to roll back male puberty. She may lose VO2-Max as her hemoglobin drops, but she retains most of her strength, all of her height, bigger lungs, hands, and body proportions that favor male physiology in most sports,” Hogshead-Makar added.

As controversy continues to build around biological male collegiate athlete Lia Thomas’ domination at the NCAA women’s swimming competition last week, prominent women’s groups have been largely silent.

Lia Thomas looks on from the podium after finishing fifth in the 200-yard freestyle during the 2022 NCAA Division I Women's Swimming and Diving Championship on March 18, 2022, in Atlanta, Georgia.

Lia Thomas looks on from the podium after finishing fifth in the 200-yard freestyle during the 2022 NCAA Division I Women’s Swimming and Diving Championship on March 18, 2022, in Atlanta, Georgia. (Mike Comer/NCAA Photos via Getty Images)

“No, transgender women that have not mitigated their male-performance advantage should not compete in the women’s sport category. Lia Thomas’ isn’t welcome in the sport of swimming because she is still benefiting from 10 years of male puberty,” Hogshead-Makar continued. “If a biological woman tested positive just TWO TIMES for testosterone, she would be banned for LIFE. That’s because the World Anti-Doping Association knows that prolonged steroid use provides ‘legacy effects’ that aren’t diminished just because someone stops taking the drug.”

Fox News Digital reached out to the Women’s Sports Foundation, Black Women in Sport Foundation, the National Organization for Women, and other advocacy groups for their opinions on the transgender athlete’s recent domination in races against biological females.

None of the listed organizations responded to Fox News Digital’s request for comment. 

“There is no ‘one size fits all’ resolution. There are three considerations: safety, fairness and inclusion. I would prioritize in that order. But a transgender woman doesn’t make swimming more dangerous. It matters tremendously in combat sports, where men have 160% advantage over women in the punching motion. World Rugby has said that brain health is so important that trans women are categorically excluded. In swimming, we have objective times and places to show fairness, or in Lia’s case, lack thereof.”


Critics argue that Thomas should not be allowed to compete against women because of the physical advantages they say biological males have over female swimmers.

On the other hand, supporters say Thomas should be able to compete because the athlete is transitioning and identifies as a woman. They also point to the fact that the NCAA has allowed Thomas to compete.

ESPN has largely ignored transgender Penn swimmer Lia Thomas.

ESPN has largely ignored transgender Penn swimmer Lia Thomas. (Hunter Martin/Getty Images)

On its website, the Women’s Sports Foundation outlines its position on transgender athletes saying: “The Women’s Sports Foundation supports the right of all athletes, including transgender athletes, to participate in athletic competition that is fair, equitable and respectful to all.” 

However, the group didn’t respond to an inquiry on Thomas’ case when questioned by Fox News Digital.


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