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Sharron Davies, a former Olympic swimmer who won a silver in the 400 medley for Britain in 1980, was among those to call out the unfairness in allowing transgender athletes to compete in women’s sports on Sunday.

A picture of transgender track athlete CeCe Telfer circulated across social media from an event earlier this year. Telfer was competing in a meet a few years after winning an NCAA Division II championship with Franklin Pierce University in 2019.

“Spot the male athlete in the women’s race! It’s simply Cheating,” Davies wrote on X.


Davies was far from the only critic. Others criticized the NCAA for allowing Telfer to compete in the championships about five years ago.

Currently, the NCAA takes a sport-by-sport approach when it comes to its transgender participation rules and takes its rules from the sport’s national governing body. USA Track and Field takes its policy from the International Olympic Committee, which says that “robust and peer-reviewed research” should determine eligibility.

CeCe Telfer in 2019


“This Framework recognizes both the need to ensure that everyone, irrespective of their gender identity or sex variations, can practice sport in a safe, harassment-free environment that recognizes and respects their needs and identities,” the IOC said in January.

World Athletics said last March it would prohibit transgender women from competing against biological females. The organization added it “decided to prioritize fairness and the integrity of the female competition before inclusion.”

Sharron Davies in March 2024

Telfer still expressed hope last year in competing for a spot on Team USA.

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