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Ciara O'Rourke
By Ciara O'Rourke June 25, 2024

No, transgender swimmer Lia Thomas wasn’t ‘ordered to compete with men’

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  • Transgender swimmer Lia Thomas was unsuccessful in her legal bid to overturn rules barring her from elite women’s swimming races. But she wasn’t ordered to "compete with men."

Transgender swimmer Lia Thomas has said she wants to compete in the 2024 Summer Olympics, but those hopes were dashed after she recently lost a legal battle to overturn rules preventing her from competing in women’s elite swimming races. 

The Court of Arbitration of Sport in Switzerland ruled June 12 that Thomas lacked standing to challenge the policies of World Aquatics, which governs elite swimming competitions. But the court didn’t direct Thomas to "compete with men," as recent social media posts claim. 

"Breaking: Lia Thomas banned from 2024 Olympics, ordered to compete with men," a June 22 Facebook post said. 

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.)

Featured Fact-check

We found no evidence to support the claim that Thomas has been compelled to compete against men. 

Her case and the court ruling have been widely covered in the media, but no credible news reports detail such an order. And we found no public statements from Thomas responding to such a compulsion. 

Rather, she said the court’s decision was "deeply disappointing" and that it "should be seen as a call to action to all trans women athletes to continue to fight for our dignity and human rights."

We rate claims she was ordered to compete with men False.


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No, transgender swimmer Lia Thomas wasn’t ‘ordered to compete with men’

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