On Thursday, Jan. 6, both Penn Athletics and the Ivy League released separate statements at 2 p.m. in support of transgender Penn women’s swimmer Lia Thomas.
“As a member of the NCAA, Penn is governed by the policies of the national governing body,” Penn Athletics wrote. “Lia 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.”
The Ivy League echoed a similar message, reaffirming its commitment to providing an inclusive environment for all student-athletes.
“The league welcomes her participation in the sport of women’s swimming and diving and looks forward to celebrating the success of all of our student-athletes throughout the season,” the Ivy League wrote.
The message comes weeks after Thomas and the women's team have been subject to national media attention since early December, when Penn competed at the Zippy Invitational. Thomas broke program, meet, and pool records in the 200, 500, and 1650-yard freestyle events, and also competed in the 50-yard free and several relays through the weekend.
Penn will compete for its final home meet of the season Saturday, Jan. 8, hosting Dartmouth and Yale at Sheerr Pool.