Female athletes sue NCAA for allowing trans competitors after Lia Thomas 'disrobes in front of college women'

Female athletes sue NCAA for allowing trans competitors after Lia Thomas 'disrobes in front of college women'

WATCH NOW: Sharron Davis discusses trans swimming

Lewis Winter

By Lewis Winter

Published: 15/03/2024

- 09:54

Sixteen athletes in the USA have filed a lawsuit against the NCAA

Riley Gaines is among 16 female athletes who are suing the National Collegiate Athletics Association (NCAA).

The lawsuit reportedly centres around Lia Thomas, a trans athlete who was victorious at the NCAA Swimming Championships when a student at the University of Pennsylvania in 2022.

Thomas competed in swimming as a man up until the 2019/20 season without much success but dominated the tournament as a woman two years ago.

The lawsuit claims that Thomas' victory and participation is a violation of Title IX, a federal civil rights law in the USA that gives women the right to equal opportunity in sports.

Lia Thomas and Riley Gaines

Riley Gaines is one of 16 female athletes who have filed a lawsuit against the NCAA


Gaines, a women's rights activist and former college swimmer for Kentucky, wrote on X: "It's official!

"I'm suing the NCAA along with 15 other collegiate athletes who have lost out on titles, records, & roster spots to men posing as women The NCAA continues to explicitly violate the federal civil rights law of Title IX.

"About time someone did something about it."

World Aquatics imposed a ban on transgender women competing in women's swimming three months after Thomas' win in 2022.

US Swimming had already implemented its own transgender regulations at the time.

But the NCAA still allows transgender athletes to compete in women's sports.

According to The Free Press, the lawsuit has asked for the NCCA to change their rules and no longer allow biological males to compete against females.

They also want to revoke any awards that have been given to trans athletes who have been victorious in women's competitions.

The lawsuit also wants 'damages for pain and suffering, mental and emotional distress, suffering and anxiety, expense costs and other damages due to defendants' wrongful conduct.'

The 16 plaintiffs say that the NCAA are allowing 'naked men possessing full male genitalia to disrobe in front of non-consenting college women'.

The Free Press says one athlete, named 'Swimmer A' in the lawsuit, was said to be 'shocked to see a naked Thomas 10 feet in front of her and a full frontal view of Thomas’ genitalia'.

Kylee Alons, a former North Carolina State swimmer, is another of the plaintiffs.

She said she felt uncomfortable knowing that Thomas was using the same locker room as the women's athletes.


Lia Thomas

Lia Thomas dominated the NCAA Swimming Championships in 2022


Alons told The Free Press: "I was literally racing U.S. and Olympic gold medalists and I was changing in a storage closet at this elite-level meet.

"I just felt that my privacy and safety were being violated in the locker room."

Kaitlynn Wheeler, who swam for the University of Kentucky like Gaines, also revealed how she felt 'exposed' in the locker room.

Wheeler said: "While you’re doing this, you’re exposed. You can’t stand there and hold a towel around you while putting the suit on at the same time.

"Never in my 18-year career had I seen a man changing in the locker rooms. I immediately felt the need to cover myself. I could feel the discomfort of the other girls in there."

Riley Gaines

Riley Gaines has called for Title IX to be used in it's 'original intent'


Gaines appeared on OutKick The Morning to explain the decision to sue the NCAA.

She said: "What I want to see from the NCAA, and they haven’t done thus far, is take accountability and take responsibility

"We’ve seen Charlie Baker testify before (lawmakers) a plethora of times and say that, you know, ‘We don’t really know what the rules are, we don’t really know how we feel about this, we haven’t issued an apology, we’ll just keep working it out on our end'.

"They’re cowards is what they are. The most important part of the lawsuit is fair competition and safety in women's sports. That's what this is about, that's what we want to see. We want to see Title IX in its original intent to be implemented and enforced by the NCAA."

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