Tom Daley has hit out at FINA’s decision to stop transgender athletes from competing in women’s elite events.
The world governing body - who look after water sports including swimming and diving - voted against trans athletes competing in their events, unless they have completed their transition by the age of 12.
The policy was passed with a majority of around 71% after it was put to 152 members.
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Olympic diving champion Daley, who is gay, gave his thoughts on the decision at the British LGBT Awards, where he was named Sports Personality of the Year.
"I was furious. Anyone that's told that they can't compete or can't do something they love just because of who they are, it's not on,” he said.
Speaking to inews, Daley went on to say: "It's something I feel really strongly about. Giving trans people the chance to share their side."
When the decision was made, FINA president Husain Al-Musallam said: "We have to protect the rights of our athletes to compete, but we also have to protect competitive fairness at our events, especially the women's category at FINA competitions.”
He went on to say that "FINA will always welcome every athlete".
The governing body says it aims to establish an ‘open’ category, to cater for athletes whose gender identity is different than that of their birth sex.
Speaking about this, Al-Musallam said, “The creation of an open category will mean that everybody has the opportunity to compete at an elite level. This has not been done before, so FINA will need to lead the way. I want all athletes to feel included in being able to develop ideas during this process."
In rugby league, transgender players have been banned from women's internationals while International Rugby League (IRL) further researches its policy, while World Athletics president Lord Coe has hinted the sport could follow FINA’s path, because "fairness is non-negotiable".
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