FINA decision on transgender swimmers a surprise to some

STORY: Transgender rights has become a major talking point as sports seek to balance inclusivity while ensuring there is no unfair advantage.

The debate intensified after University of Pennsylvania swimmer Lia Thomas became the first transgender NCAA champion in Division I history after winning the women's 500-yard freestyle earlier this year.

Thomas has expressed a desire to compete for a place at the Olympics but the new FINA rule would block her participation.

FINA's decision, the strictest by any Olympic sports body, was made during its extraordinary general congress after members heard a report from a transgender task force comprising leading medical, legal and sports figures.

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