What did Sharron Davies say about Tom Daley? FINA decision around transgender athletes in swimming explained
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Sharron Davies has recently dismissed the gold medal winning Olympian Tom Daley’s criticism after the FINA, the international federation for administering competitions in water sports, banned transgender athletes from competing in women’s swimming events.
The former Olympian Davies welcomed the decision by the governing body and she has been a vocal campaigner against allowing transgender athletes from being able to compete.
She has since hit back at Daley’s response.
What did Sharron Davies say?
Speaking to GB News, Davies said: “What I would say is Tom is male and this doesn’t affect him in the slightest.
“Transgender men, biological females who actually happen to carry on competing in the women’s category because they wouldn’t stand a chance to compete in the men’s category.
“They don’t cause any risk to men’s sport whatsoever, so I think we have to listen to the women and FINA were the first governing body since 2015 to actually poll their female athletes and listen to their coaches.”
Davies has since attracted a lot of scrutiny and said she was the subject of death threats as a result of her campaigning, but insists she will remain as part of the BBC’s programming.
Speaking to the DailyMail, Davies said: “The trans activists are so vile that they go after like you cannot believe if you don’t do everything they tell you to do.
“They were phoning my employers and charities I was working for and they made me life hell.
“But BBC Sport has been very good. I will be working for them at the Commonwealth Games and European Championships.
“I am very much looking forward to being on the side of the pool.”
Great Britain’s Prime Minister Boris Johnson was also in support of FINA’s decision.
Johnson was asked during a trip to Rwanda on the weekend and said: “I haven’t studied it in detail but I see no reason to dissent”
The Prime Minister was then asked whether a woman can be born with a penis, after debates emerged about anatomy and gender, to which he replied “not without being a man, that’s my view about it.”
What did Tom Daley say?
Daley, who on a gold and bronze medal at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, spoke to reporters at the British LGBT Awards on Friday 24 June 2022.
He said the decision taken by FINA was ‘not on’.
Daley told iNews: “I was furious. Anyone that’s told that they can’t compete or can’t do something they love just because of who they are, it’s not on.
“It’s something I feel really strongly about. Giving trans people the chance to share their side.”
What was FINA’s decision?
On 19 June 2022, FINA announced that they would set up an open competition category in which athletes would be able to compete irrespective of their sex or gender identity.
However, at present, they would ban transgender athletes from competing in women’s sport events.
This decision means that Lia Thomas, who became the first transgedner swimmer to win a major US national college title back in March, will be unable to compete in the women’s category with immediate effect.
Female-to-male transgender athletes will be eligible to compete in male categories but for high diving and water polo, these athletes will be asked to submit an ‘assumption of risk’ form and are also advised to seek advice as to their physical capability.
The decision taken by FINA came just two weeks after UCI, cycling’s governing body, voted to double the time period before a rider who is transitioning from male to female can compete.
The Commonwealth Games will begin on Thurdsay 28 July and conclude on Monday 8 August 2022 in Birmingham, England.