The University of Pennsylvania could sue the NCAA if transgender swimmer Lia Thomas is banned from the 2022 winter championships, according to an unnamed source on the swim team.
“I have a feeling that if USA Swimming changes their rules, they will be filing a lawsuit for Lia to swim,” the student, who was speaking out against Thomas’s participation on the women’s team, told Fox News.
The student claims to have “heard that from some of the administrators” but doesn’t know if the lawsuit would be filed directly from Penn Athletics or from the broader university.
Thomas is currently eligible to compete based on NCAA rules that require one year of testosterone suppression. In March, however, the rules will change.
“Transgender student-athletes will need to document sport-specific testosterone levels beginning four weeks before their sport’s championship selections,” the new policy states.
“Starting with the 2022-23 academic year, transgender student-athletes will need documented levels at the beginning of their season and a second documentation six months after the first. They will also need documented testosterone levels four weeks before championship selections. Full implementation would begin with the 2023-24 academic year.”
Thomas has made headlines for breaking records in women’s swimming, and has also received nonstop conservative backlash for her success.
San Diego local channel KUSI-TV claimed it is “unfair” for Thomas to participate, while Fox News syndicated OutKick‘s article and had OutKick founder Clay Travis on the show during Fox & Friends to share his argument against her inclusion.
Anti-LGBTQ activists and influencers such as Piers Morgan, Jesse Kelly, and Megyn Kelly have called attention to her participation in sports as a woman. Many have accused Thomas of transitioning so she can dominate in women’s sports.
And in December, a USA Swimming official named Cynthia Millen resigned after 30 years on the job in protest of Thomas’ participation on the Penn women’s team.
Penn has already made it clear that it stands with Thomas.
Earlier this month, Penn Athletics released a statement affirming its support for her.
“Penn Athletics is committed to being a welcoming and inclusive environment for all student-athletes, coaches, and staff and we hold true to that commitment today and in the future,” it said, adding that 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.”