Caitlyn Jenner is wading in the pool of debate surrounding transgender athletes, RadarOnline.com has learned.
Jenner, who is transgender herself, slammed transgender swimmer Lia Thomas, who wants to compete at the Olympics against females. Jenner says Thomas, who was born a male, has "a tremendous advantage over the girls" and that "we have to keep it fair for women."
Jenner added that it is "just not fair" on other performers considering Thomas went through puberty as a male. She also said that the Olympic pursuit makes "the trans community look selfish."
Jenner, a former Olympic champion, called Thomas' defiance "bad publicity" for the trans community while speaking to Dan Wootton on GB News on Aug. 9. Thomas has said that the legacy effects of testosterone from puberty should not keep her from the Olympic Trials.
"It's been a goal of mine to swim at the Olympic trials for a very long time and I would love to see that through," Thomas said in the interview.
Jenner, who competed as a man in decathlon in two Olympics, said of Thomas: "Listening to her talk, it’s all about her. It’s not about what’s fair in sports. She has a tremendous advantage over the girls, she’s taller, has bigger hands, her cardiovascular system is bigger, she went through male puberty – all of those things and it’s just not fair."
Jenner said Thomas' desire to compete in the Olympics was "bad publicity for the trans community." "It makes the trans community look selfish and self-absorbed. Lia Thomas even said if you accept me as a woman, you accept me as woman athlete but no, we do not have to accept that."
Jenner said that "number one, we have to keep it fair for women."
Despite Thomas' desire to compete, FINA, swimming's world governing body, does not allow trans athletes from competing in women's elite races if they have gone through any male puberty. Earlier this year, FINA said it would aim to include an "open" category for those whose gender identity is different to their birth sex.
"I went through male puberty. I was strong, 6-foot-2. I’m 72 years old and I can still hit the ball 290 yards because my arms and legs are long. I can still do those types of things. I transitioned fully 7 years ago, but there’s still a lot left over there!" Jenner said.
Jenner said criticism she's faced for her stance on the matter doesn't bother her, according to the Daily Mail. "I have taken so much flack. Honestly, I’ve got thick skin. They can come after me, I really don’t care. I can take all the criticism. I feel like I’m on the right side."