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21 Jan, 2022 18:01

Trans swimmer plotted to lose, teammate claims

Lia Thomas was beaten by Yalie Iszac Henig earlier this month
Trans swimmer plotted to lose, teammate claims

A biological female teammate of University of Pennsylvania transgender swimmer Lia Thomas has voiced beliefs she colluded with a fellow trans athlete to be beaten at a recent Ivy League swim meet.

Born Will and competing in UPenn's male swimming team before the pandemic, Thomas has sparked debate in the US after she smashed a number of records at women's swim events with figures such as Caitlyn Jenner insisting that "biological boys should not be playing in women’s sports." 

On January 8, however, Thomas was beaten by Yale's Yalie Iszac Henig, who topped her in the 100-yard and 300-yard women's freestyle races.

Henig is currently transitioning from male to female, and is allegedly still allowed to compete on Yale's women's team due to not starting testosterone treatment yet.

But as Thomas' female teammate alleged to OutKick while keeping her identity secret, foul play has been suspected in the upset after Hening won the 100 freestyle race with a time of 49.57 compared to Thomas' 52.84 seconds.

"Looking at [Lia’s] time, I don’t think she was trying," the teammate said.

"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'.”

"I do," she answered when asked if she believed the duo had fixed the result. "I can’t say for sure, but I wouldn’t be shocked if I found out that was 100% true," she added.

"I was on deck and said to a friend, 'She’s literally not trying.’ You could just tell," the teammate claimed, accusing Thomas of not giving her all in the 200-yard freestyle won with a time of 1:48.73 during the meeting with Yale and Dartmouth.

"It was blatantly obvious. I was watching the 200 free and she was literally keeping pace with the other girls.

"She was number one in the country at one point. These are definitely talented swimmers, but they’re not the caliber of being at the top in the country or anything like that," the teammate went on.

"You can tell when someone is dying and they’re swimming slow. You can also tell when someone is not trying and I could see [in the 200-yard freestyle] that Lia was not trying," she concluded.

The UPenn team headed to Florida to train before the early January meet and, according to the anonymous source, were accompanied by two private security guards of each sex described as possibly ex-SWAT agents. 

Swimmers received instructions from their college not to wear UPenn apparel in a bid to avoid causing trouble with those who might be following Lia Thomas' story and disapprove of her participation in women's events. 

As most of the clothing such as hoodies and shirts has the word 'PENN' emblazoned across it, teammates allegedly resorted to covering it up with tape. But not Thomas.

"It was crazy. People were wearing shirts with Duct Tape on them and had bags duct-taped while Lia was wearing gear with big letters," the teammate said.

Next up for UPenn's women's swim team is a trip to Harvard, where a dual meet will take place on Saturday.

In the meantime, the under-fire National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) has announced that individual national governing bodies such as USA Swimming will determine participation requirements for transgender athletes such as Thomas with immediate effect to fall in line with the International Olympic Committee's own fresh stance.