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Ciara O'Rourke
By Ciara O'Rourke May 7, 2024

U.S. swim team didn’t threaten to quit over Lia Thomas

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  • This story appears to have originated on a satire site.

Transgender swimmer Lia Thomas has been the subject of several false claims that have drawn the attention of social media users critical of the athlete’s participation in women’s sports. 

Among them, circulating on a Facebook post: "The US Women’s team has made it clear they will resign immediately if the Olympic Committee allows Lia Thomas to try out." 

"‘We don’t need an outsider,’ the Coach stated," the April 30 post said. "‘We are champions solely composed of females. We don’t welcome male participation.’" 

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.)

We found no evidence that the claim in the Facebook post, or the quote attributed to "the Coach," is true. Searching for credible news reports or public statements online, we discovered none. 

Rather, this post seems to be a variation of an old fake news story posted on a satire site. The headline said: "US Women’s team says they’ll quit if Lia Thomas gets a tryout: ‘We don’t need a ringer.’"

Thomas is challenging transgender restrictions imposed by World Aquatics, swimming’s global governing body.

With the exception of two athletes — Katie Grimes and Mariah Denigan, who qualified for the Olympics with their performances at past World Aquatics Championships — it’s still unknown which swimmers will represent the United States at the 2024 Olympics in Paris. The 2024 U.S. Olympic Swimming trials will take place June 15-23 in Indianapolis.

These trials are affiliated with USA Swimming, the national governing body for the sport of swimming in the United States, not the "Olympic Committee," as the post suggests.

In September 2023, Todd DeSorbo, University of Virginia’s head swimming coach, was named head coach of the U.S. women’s Olympic team.

We rate this post False.

RELATED: Tuberville’s claim that Olympics decided ‘men can box women’ misses the mark

 

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U.S. swim team didn’t threaten to quit over Lia Thomas

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