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Ciara O'Rourke
By Ciara O'Rourke May 21, 2024

Story about US Olympic committee inviting Lia Thomas to try out for men’s team is fake

If Your Time is short

  • This story originated on a self-described satire site.

With the 2024 Summer Olympics nearing, misinformation about transgender swimmer Lia Thomas has proliferated online. 

 "U.S. Olympic committee says Lia Thomas is welcome to try out for the men’s team," reads text in an image labeled "news" that’s being shared on social media. 

"Thomas won’t be swimming for the US Women’s team anytime soon," a May 12 Facebook post said. 

It 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 post included a link in the comments that led to a website called "Freshstoryes."  A May 11 post’s headline there said, "US Olympic committee says Lia Thomas is welcome to try out — for the men’s team." 

That blog post included no indication that this is fake news — but it is. 

The story was lifted from SpaceXArena, which describes itself as a site that uses "parody and exaggeration to mock current events and trends and to provide entertainment and laughter to our readers."

The site’s undated post about Thomas is labeled "satire." We searched for but found no credible news stories reporting that any Olympic-affiliated group suggested Thomas try out for the men’s team.

Thomas is challenging transgender restrictions imposed by World Aquatics, swimming’s global governing body. She made history as a University of Pennsylvania swimmer in 2022 when she became the first transgender athlete to win a NCAA Division I title. Later that year, she was nominated for the NCAA Woman of the Year award.

But claims the "U.S. Olympic committee" encouraged her to try out for the men’s team are False. 

 

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Story about US Olympic committee inviting Lia Thomas to try out for men’s team is fake

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