WASHINGTON D.C. — Today, Independent Women’s Forum (IWF) applauds the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) for its decision to uphold the pro-fairness policy created by swimming’s international federation, World Aquatics, which prevents males from competing in the women’s category for elite competitions. 

The ruling comes after trans-identified male swimmer Lia Thomas brought a challenge against World Aquatics for its participation policy preserving the integrity of women’s elite swimming competitions. The dismissal of Thomas’s challenge ensures that the World Aquatics rules reflect single-sex competition at the elite level. 

“It’s been proven a rarity for governing bodies or authority figures to stand firm in defending biological reality, so we thank all involved in this ruling who were steadfast to upholding sex-based rights. I think we will see more wins like this as time continues. Thomas can still try out for the men’s team, although he would never make it,” said Riley Gaines, Independent Women’s Forum ambassador, host of “Gaines for Girls” on OutKick, and 12x All-American swimmer who tied for fifth-place with Thomas in the 2022 NCAA Championships 200 freestyle final.

“This is a great win today for female athletes everywhere. I hope more governing bodies also choose to keep males out of women’s sports when they are given the opportunity!” said Paula Scanlan, former NCAA athlete from the University of Pennsylvania and former teammate of Lia Thomas. Scanlan has been outspoken on being forced to undress up to 18x per week in front of Thomas, a transgender-identifying male. 

This ruling is a testament to the surge of support nationwide for keeping women’s sports female. 

Independent Women’s Forum has been leading the fight to save women’s sports. Learn more below: 

Direct all press inquiries to [email protected] 



Independent Women’s Forum is dedicated to developing and advancing policies that aren’t just well intended but actually enhance people’s freedom, choices, and opportunities.