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Did Penn transgender swimmer Lia Thomas collude to throw an early January race to another transgender swimmer, Iszac Henig of Yale, who is transitioning from identifying as a female to male? It was an explosive accusation when Thomas’ teammate made it in an OutKick exclusive interview, but now there’s evidence to support a claim that Thomas helped Henig to win that January 100 yard freestyle race.
At this weekend’s Ivy League Championships, Lia Thomas suddenly slashed five seconds from that disappointing time put up in January’s showdown with Henig. Saturday, it was Thomas (meet, pool and program record time of 47.63) beating Henig for the Ivy League title.
Thomas left Harvard’s Blodgett Pool this weekend with the 100, 200, and 500 freestyle Ivy Championships.
Thomas’ teammate told me in January that something was up between these two.
“Looking at [Lia’s] time, I don’t think she was trying,” the Penn swimmer alleged. “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.’”
When asked if there was collusion at Penn’s tri-meet against Dartmouth and Yale, the teammate didn’t hesitate.
“I do. I can’t say for sure, but I wouldn’t be shocked if I found out that was 100% true,” Thomas’ teammate said.
Let’s look at the times:
Then yesterday, despite Thomas having not approached LT’s season bests in either the 200y or the 500y free, Lia, in a stunning tribute to LT’s hard work in the pool, won the Ivy 100y free title in 47.63, a miraculous improvement of > FIVE seconds (10.9%) in just 7 weeks. 2/ pic.twitter.com/55rRJuDLfR
— Jim Butler (@JimBUWDawg) February 20, 2022
— Penn Swimming & Diving (@PennSwimDive) February 20, 2022
What a way to treat a friend in the LGBTQ community. So Thomas suddenly gains five seconds of speed at the Ivy League championships where the glory of a league title is on the line. Talk about insulting to Henig.
Is it possible to gain five seconds in seven weeks? Let’s ask Sharron Davies, who was a silver medalist at the 1980 Olympic Games and has spent her life working in the sport. Sharron, is this five seconds thing normal?
“Of course not!!,” Davies wrote Sunday on Twitter. “Not even 0.7 at this level,” she added.
Of course not!! Not even 0.7 at this level
— Sharron Davies MBE (@sharrond62) February 20, 2022
John Lohn, editor in chief at Swimming World, noted in a Monday morning column that he believes Thomas was “sandbagging” in the 200 and 500 freestyle races and that it was “likely designed to draw less attention to her performances.”
ESPN+ swimming analyst Adam Giardino noted how during Thursday’s 500 freestyle preliminaries Thomas’ legs were barely used as the biological female opponents were kicking like crazy to generate power.
“You can see the…powerful stroke of Lia Thomas where there isn’t a whole lot of movement in her legs,” Giardino noted, failing to mention that Thomas is a male identifying as a female. “It’s a much quieter stroke, even though it’s more powerful than a lot of these other swimmers right now.”
Now it’s onto Atlanta for Thomas whose participation in the NCAA Championships has been approved by the governing body. And it doesn’t appear that Thomas’ inclusion will be met with public resistance by the competition.
It will be at the national championships where Thomas will have a showdown with Brooke Forde, the daughter of Pat Forde, the Sports Illustrated writer.
“[Brooke will] swim the 500 freestyle at NCAA Championships, so she will compete against Lia if Lia is there, and the expectation is that Lia will be there,” Forde said during a January podcast.
Forde also added that “some of the folks who are really wound up about this and screaming about the fairness to women’s sports really don’t give a damn about women’s sports. They’re using this as a political wedge issue.”