Tom Daley 'furious' at transgender ban from swimming and diving competitions

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Lia Thomas. - AP
Lia Thomas. - AP

Tom Daley has said he is “furious” at the decision to ban transgender women who have gone through male puberty from elite female swimming and diving competitions.

Daley, who fulfilled his dream of Olympic gold last year, said that last week’s ruling by Fina was “not on”.

The international federation became the first to impose a trans ban a vote of its member federations following an outcry over swimmer Lia Thomas and cyclist Emily Bridges.

The rule change also included exploring establishing an “open” category for anyone who wished to enter, including those whose gender identity was different from their birth sex.

It was welcomed by those who argue trans women to have gone through male puberty possess an unfair advantage in many sports over those born female but was denounced by LGBTQ+ activists, who could launch a legal challenge.

Speaking at the British LGBT Awards, Daley said: “I was furious. You know, like most queer people, 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.”

Tom Daley. - Paul Grover
Tom Daley. - Paul Grover

The 28-year-old, runner-up to Emma Raducanu in last year’s BBC Sports Personality of the Year Award, also called for a “rethink” on where major sporting events were held.

Daley had previously said this year’s World Cup should not be staged in Qatar, where homosexuality is illegal and punishable by up to seven years behind bars.

“There really needs to be a rethink about how certain countries are selected, and being able to create a space for them to be able to make changes,” he said.

“We need to be able to make inclusions for things, to make it able to be more accepting and safe for people.”

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