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Navratilova Slams IOC For Punting on Transgender Issue

Martina Navratilova has a message for the IOC: Do your job.

Former world No. 1 Navratilova slammed the International Olympic Committee for failing to lead and passing the buck on the issue of transgender women competing in women's sport.

More: Wimbledon Paths for Swiatek and Serena

"The IOC has completely punted," the 59-times Grand Slam champion told The Australian newspaper in comments published by Reuters. "That 'Oh, we will leave it up to the individual federations'. How can these individual federations within their country make their different rules?

"They have to do the research and the implementation ... and it costs money to then figure it out, and it's impossible."

Last week, FINA, the international governing body of swimming, released a new transgender participation policy for athletes that bars athletes who transitioned after age 12 from competing in the women’s division of elite swimming competitions.

Some experts say that decision will have a ripple effect on transgender women participating in other sports.

The FINA ruling came after transgender swimmer Lia Thomas made history becoming the first known transgender woman to win an NCAA Division I title when she captured the 2022 NCAA 500 freestyle title for the University of Pennsylvania swim team.

Thomas' victory ignited debate among current and former women athletes on whether transgender women should be competing against biological women.

Navratilova has been a vocal critic of transgender women competing in women’s sport calling it “insane.” In a recent interview with The New York Times, Navratilova said transgender women competing vs. biological women is not fair.

"I played against taller women, I played against stronger women, and I beat them all," Navratilova told The New York Times.   "But if I faced the male equivalent of Lia in tennis, that’s biology. I would have had no shot. And I would have been livid."

American soccer star Megan Rapinoe has defended transgender women competing calling it “cruel” and “disgusting” to prevent trans women from playing women’s sport.

Rapinoe told Time Magazine “we need to start with inclusion” and shot down suggestions transgender women are dominating women's sport.

“Show me the evidence that trans women are taking everyone’s scholarships, are dominating in every sport, are winning every title,” Rapinoe said in an interview with Time. “I’m sorry, it’s just not happening. So we need to start from inclusion, period. And as things arise, I have confidence that we can figure it out.

"But we can’t start at the opposite. That is cruel. And frankly, it’s disgusting."

Photo credit: US Open Facebook