The Olympic gold medalist who transitioned in 2015 said 'biological boys should not be playing in women's sports'
Transgender former Olympic gold medalist Caitlyn Jenner has criticized the participation of swimmer Lia Thomas while stressing that athletes should not compete in the sports of the sex they have transitioned to.
Known as Bruce until 2015, the Kardashian-linked decathlon champion at the 1976 Games made her comments on Fox News' America Reports program.
"I've said from the beginning, biological boys should not be playing in women's sports," Jenner reiterated.
"We need to protect women's sports."
"Obviously this is about Lia Thomas who has brought a lot of attention to this issue," Jenner pointed out, in reference to the University of Pennsylvania trans swimmer who has made headlines for breaking national 200-yard and 500-yard women's freestyle times this season.
"First of all, I respect her decision to live her life authentically. 100%. But, that also comes with responsibility and some integrity.
"I don't know why she's doing this," Jenner pondered.
"For two reasons: 1. It's not good for the trans community. We have a lot of issues in the trans community that are very difficult and very challenging. We have a suicide rate that's nine times higher than the general public."
Jenner increased her criticism by claiming that Thomas "is also not good for women's sports."
"It's unfortunate that this is happening. I don't know why she's doing it," Jenner repeated.
"She knows when she's swimming she's beating the competition by two laps. She was born as a biological boy. She was raised as a biological boy. Her cardiovascular system is bigger. Her respiratory system is bigger.
"Her hands are bigger. She can swim faster. That's a known," Jenner went on.
"All of this woke world that we are living in right now is not working. I feel sorry for the other athletes that are out there, especially at Penn or anyone she's competing against, because in the woke world you have to say, 'Oh my gosh, this is great.' No, it's not," Jenner concluded.
Jenner's comments echo those of arguably the greatest swimmer of all time, Michael Phelps.
On CNN, the 23-time Olympic gold medalist compared the issue to doping and said the onus was on the organizing committees to set the "level playing field" he seeks.
"That's something that we all need," Phelps stressed. "Because that's what sports are. For me, I don't know where this is going to go. I don't know what's going to happen."
"I believe that we all should feel comfortable with who we are in our own skin, but I think sports should all be played on an even playing field," the 'Baltimore Bullet' offered.
"I don't know what it looks like in the future. It's hard. It's very complicated and this is my sport, this has been my sport my whole entire career, and honestly the one thing I would love is everybody being able to compete on an even playing field."
Uniform NCAA laws previously permitted trans athletes who have transitioned from male to female to take part in national college events as long as they have completed a year of testosterone suppression.
But in an update to policy on Wednesday, to fall in line with the International Olympic Committee's own stance, it was announced that requirements for transgender athletes will be determined by each individual sport's national governing body with immediate effect.