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UPenn Teammate Says Transgender Lia Thomas Intentionally Lost Race to Avoid Criticism

'It has to be a level playing field. That’s something that we all need. Because that’s what sports are... '

(Headline USA) A teammate of transgender swimmer Lia Thomas suggested Thomas intentionally lost a recent race to avoid critcism and make it seem like there is still a level playing field.

Thomas, who competed for three years on the University of Pennsylvania’s men’s swim team before transitioning last year and switching to the women’s swim team, lost for the first time this season during a Jan. 8 meet. But Thomas’s teammate argued the results were not legitimate.

“Looking at [Lia’s] time, I don’t think she was trying,” Thomas’s teammate, who was granted anonymity based on threats from university activists, told Outkick.

“I know they’re friends, and I know they were talking before the meet,” she said. “I think she let [Henig] win to prove the point that, ‘Oh see, a female-to-male beat me.’”

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Thomas’s time during the meet was more than 3 seconds slower than her time during the same race in a November meet against Princeton and Yale Universities.

“I do [believe there was collusion],” the UPenn teammate alleged. “I can’t say for sure, but I wouldn’t be shocked if I found out that was 100% true. You can tell when someone is dying and they’re swimming slow. You can also tell when someone is not trying, and I could see [in the 200 freestyle] that Lia was not trying.”

Thomas has come under heavy criticism for breaking several women’s swim records over the past year. In one race, the transgender swimmer beat all of her teammates by more than 30 seconds, leading USA Swimming officials to slam the NCAA for allowing her to compete against biological women.

Olympic swimmer Michael Phelps even weighed in on the controversy recently, calling it “complicated” but arguing Thomas’s male physique gives her an advantage similar to “doping.”

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“It has to be a level playing field. That’s something that we all need. Because that’s what sports are,” he said.

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