FINA, the global governing body of swimming, will vote on a new policy regarding transgender swimmers at an extraordinary general congress in Budapest on Sunday, Australia’s Telegraph newspaper reported on Saturday.
The regulations could have a major impact on the career of American Lia Thomas, the first known transgender woman to win a NCAA Division I title in the female class.
The agenda for the FINA congress, which is taking place on the sidelines of the World Championships, lists a “report of the transgender task force”.
FINA did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Reuters.
The issue of transgender inclusion in sport is highly divisive, particularly in the United States where it has become a weapon in the so-called “culture war” between conservatives and progressives.
Opponents to transgender athletes in women’s sport, which include British former Olympic medallist Sharron Davies, maintain that anyone who goes through male puberty will always have a major physical advantage over women.
Advocates for transgender inclusion argue that not enough studies have yet been done on the impact of transition on physical performance, and that elite athletes are often physical outliers in any case.
Cycling’s global governing body this week amended its rules on transgender participation.
The UCI doubled the period before transgender athletes are allowed to move from one sex class to another from 12 to 24 months and halved the maximum permitted testosterone level to 2.5 nmol/L.