Riley Gaines Celebrates CAS Decision To Exclude Lia Thomas From Women’s Olympic Swimming

Riley Gaines, a former University of Kentucky swimmer, expressed her support following the Court of Arbitration for Sport’s decision to block Lia Thomas, a trans-identifying male swimmer, from competing in women’s Olympic events. Gaines highlighted a Yahoo Sports headline on X, stating, “Transgender swimmer Lia Thomas loses legal challenge in CAS ruling.”

The CAS ruling determined that Thomas “is not eligible to compete in elite competitions through World Aquatics or USA Swimming.” Consequently, Thomas is restricted to non-elite USA Swimming events. Gaines shared her enthusiasm on X, writing to her followers, “Great news! Lia Thomas won’t be able to compete in women’s category at the Olympics or any other elite competition.”

Gaines’ post quickly gained traction, amassing over 1.3 million views. She called the ruling a “victory for women and girls everywhere” and demanded that the NCAA “strip [Thomas] of every award, title, and record he stole from a deserving female athlete.” Many on social media echoed her sentiments, with comments such as “Common sense for the win” and “Do I agree with biology? Yes, yes I do.”

World Aquatics described the ruling as “a major step forward in our efforts to protect women’s sport.” The organization emphasized its dedication to fairness and equal opportunities, stating, “Our policies and practices are continuously evaluated to ensure they align with these core values, which led to the introduction of our open category.”

Gaines has been a prominent advocate for women’s rights in sports, particularly against the inclusion of biological males in female competitions. She gained prominence in 2022 for speaking out about the challenges of competing against Thomas and the discomfort of sharing locker room spaces. This ruling is a significant milestone in her advocacy journey and the broader debate on gender inclusivity in sports.