Lia Thomas accused of conspiring to lose against fellow trans swimmer Iszac Henig
An anonymous UPenn swimmer is accusing her transgender teammate Lia Thomas of conspiring with Yale transgender swimmer Iszac Henig during a 100-freestyle race. 22-year-old Thomas is transitioning from male to female, while 20-year-old Henig is transitioning from female to male. The alleger, who is a student at the University of Pennsylvania, claimed that Thomas lost to Henig to prove that, "Oh see, a female-to-male beat me."
Henig defeated Thomas in the 100-yard freestyle race, finishing with a time of 49.57, while Thomas finished sixth with a time of 52.84. Thomas was involved in controversy prior to this when she defeated swimmer Anna Sofia Kalandadze, causing outrage. Post her win, board members and fellow swim mates spoke up against the inclusion of trans athletes on the women's team. Cynthia Miller, a swimming official, even resigned saying that allowing transgender females to compete against biological female swimmers is not fair play.
Daily Mail reported, "Henig has been a member of Yale's women's swim team for three years and decided to delay taking hormones for his transition, making him eligible to remain on the female squad. He came out to coaches and teammates in April 2021, but taking any hormones would make him ineligible." Meanwhile, Thomas came out as transgender in 2019 and was eligible to switch from the men's team to the women's after taking a year of testosterone suppressants.
"Looking at [Lia’s] time, I don’t think she was trying. I know they're friends and I know they were talking before the meet. I think she let her win to prove the point that, 'Oh see, a female-to-male beat me.' I was on deck and said to a friend, 'She's literally not trying.' You could just tell. It was blatantly obvious. I was watching the 200 free and she was literally keeping pace with the other girls," claimed the accuser in a conversation with OutKick. The UPenn swimmer, who is a biological female, said, "You can tell when someone is dying and they're swimming slow. You can also tell when someone is not trying and I could see that Lia was not trying."
The NCAA announced a new policy under which eligibility requirements for transgender athletes will be determined by each sport's national governing body. Penn Athletics then released a statement that read, "As a member of the NCAA, Penn is governed by the policies of the national governing body. Lia Thomas has met or exceeded all NCAA protocols over the past two years for a transgender female student-athlete to compete for a women's team. She will continue to represent the Penn women's swimming team in competition this season."