Lia Thomas Has Advantages Like 'Doped' Athletes, Swimming Magazine Editor Writes

The editor-in-chief of Swimming World magazine is calling on the NCAA to "act, and it needs to act quickly" as Lia Thomas, the transgender Penn swimmer who spent three years swimming on the men's team, is on a collision course with the NCAA championships in March. In an editorial posted Sunday, editor John Lohn compared the advantages Thomas is experiencing to those of biological females who won Olympic gold medals with the help of steroids.

While saying that Thomas isn't a doper, Lohn explains that Thomas "has a clear-cut edge over the biological females against whom she is competing."

And because of that, Lohn argues, the sport needs the NCAA to stop the inevitable. "For the good of the sport, and for fairness to those competing as biological women, a ruling must come down soon," Lohn writes. "If it doesn't, the NCAA just doesn't care."

During an exclusive interview with OutKick, a Penn swimmer described distraught teammates crying at an event in Akron, OH knowing they were about to be demolished by the stronger and faster Thomas.

“They feel so discouraged because no matter how much work they put in it, they’re going to lose. Usually, they can get behind the blocks and know they out-trained all their competitors and they’re going to win and give it all they’ve got,” the source told OutKick.

The Swimming World editor writes that was a similar scenario that clean swimmers faced against Olympic dopers.

"From a mental perspective, doping-fueled athletes also possessed an upper hand. For clean athletes, the knowledge they were headed into a race already playing catchup was a blow to the system," he writes. "Questions lingered before the starting beep. How can I keep up? Is there anything I can do to negate their advantage? Why has this setting been allowed?"

"Thomas enjoys similar advantages," Lohn added.

In a letter sent to the NCAA demanding policy changes, Penn swim parents argue their biological female daughters are losing their equitable space in collegiate athletics.

“At stake here is the integrity of women’s sports,” the letter states. “The precedent being set – one in which women do not have a protected and equitable space to compete – is a direct threat to female athletes in every sport. What are the boundaries? How is this in line with the NCAA’s commitment to providing a fair environment for student-athletes?

The NCAA has yet to respond to the parents.

What will happen if the NCAA leaves its transgender policy as-is through the NCAA Championships?

Lohn believes Thomas will go faster later in the season and "easily" win the 500-yard freestyle national championship over biological women.

Written by
Joe Kinsey is the Senior Director of Content of OutKick and the editor of the Morning Screencaps column that examines a variety of stories taking place in real America. Kinsey is also the founder of OutKick’s Thursday Night Mowing League, America’s largest virtual mowing league. Kinsey graduated from University of Toledo.