A year after banning transgender women from competing in elite female swimming events, the World Aquatics, has had to cancel its first open races for transgenders after no one registered for the event.
The World Cup meeting was scheduled to take place in Berlin but the organisers were forced to scrap the event after receiving no entries.
The swimming governing body had promised to stage the “pioneering pilot project” to promote commitment to inclusivity, welcoming swimmers of all sex and gender identities”.
However, its intention to hold an “open” category, with 50m and 100m races across all strokes alongside its men’s and women’s competition, has been put on hold as all those who fit into this category did not register.
World Aquatics’ decision to bar transgender women from elite female competitions if they had undergone male puberty came following research showing that trans women retained a significant advantage over female swimmers even after reducing their testosterone levels through medication.
Another factor in its vote in June 2022 was the success of American Lia Thomas, who had been a moderate college swimmer as a male competitor but was able to win an NCAA national college title in the women’s category after transitioning.
Over the past 12 months several other sports bodies, including athletics and cycling, have gone down a similar path.