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Ciara O'Rourke
By Ciara O'Rourke July 9, 2024

Swimmer Lia Thomas didn’t lose “every title,” despite online claims

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  • Swimmer Lia Thomas didn’t lose "every title."

Transgender swimmer Lia Thomas recently lost her legal challenge to rules that bar her from competing in elite women’s races, including those in the upcoming Summer Olympics in Paris, because she had undergone male puberty. But claims she "has lost every title" are wrong. 

"Officially; Lia Thomas has lost every title," a July 1 Facebook post says. 

This post was flagged as part of Meta’s efforts to combat false news and misinformation on its News Feed. (Read more about our partnership with Meta, which owns Facebook and Instagram.)

The Facebook post link to a blog post, but the blog post doesn’t mention Thomas’ titles.

That’s because Thomas hasn’t lost her titles. As a University of Pennsylvania swimmer, Thomas made history when she became the first transgender athlete to win an NCAA Division I title at the 2022 NCAA Division I Women’s Swimming and Diving Championships. We previously fact-checked claims in 2023 that Thomas was stripped of her title. Those claims was false. 

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As we revisited the claims more than a year later, we contacted the NCAA. Greg Johnson, a spokesperson for the organization, told PolitiFact that Thomas hasn’t been stripped of any awards from the NCAA 2022 Division I Women’s Swimming and Diving Championships. 

NCAA records for 2022 still show her first-place finish for the 500-yard freestyle.

They also still show that Thomas tied for fifth place in the 200-yard freestyle race at that meet.

We rate claims she was stripped of "every title" False.


Our Sources

Facebook post, June 28, 2024

Facebook post, July 1, 2024

NCAA, Division I Women’s Swimming & Diving Championships Records Book, visited July 8, 2024

CNN, Swimmer Lia Thomas becomes first transgender athlete to win an NCAA D-I title, March 17, 2022

2022 NCAA DI Women's Swimming & Diving, 3/16/2022 - 3/19/2022

NCAA, Virginia wins the 2022 NCAA DI women’s swimming and diving national championship, last updated March 19, 2022

Email interview with Greg Johnson, assistant director, communications, NCAA, July 8, 2024


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Swimmer Lia Thomas didn’t lose “every title,” despite online claims

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