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FINA President Husain Al-Musallam said while the governing board has to protect the rights of athletes to compete, it also have to protect “competitive fairness” at their events.

“Especially the women’s category at FINA competitions,” he said.

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FINA, which is the international federation recognized by the International Olympic Committee for administering international competitions in water sports, developed a new policy applying to all FINA events.

The policy includes proposals for an open competition category.

Biological males who have gone through male puberty will be barred from competing in women’s competitions. The policy states swimmers must have either never gone through male puberty or had male puberty suppressed at the stage when physical changes begin to appear or before the age of 12, whichever occurred later.

Athletes will also have to prove they have continuously suppressed their testosterone levels since that time.

Al-Musallam said FINA will always welcome every athlete and the creation of an “open category” will mean “everybody” has the opportunity to compete at an elite level.

“This has not been done before, so FINA will need to lead the way,” he said. “I want all athletes to feel included in being able to develop ideas during this process.”

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