Sharron Davies hits out at Tom Daley's transgender comments - 'This doesn't affect him'

·3 min read
Former Olympic athlete Sharron Davies speaks about the importance of maintaining female sporting categories at both elite and grassroots levels and concerns about the potential impact of the Gender Recognition Act (GRA) reform, at the Macdonald Hotel in Edinburgh. Picture date: Thursday June 16, 2022.
Former Olympic athlete Sharron Davies has criticised Tom Daley. (PA)

Sharron Davies has dismissed Tom Daley's criticism of the decision to ban transgender athletes from competing in women’s swimming events.

Former Olympic swimmer Davies welcomed the world governing body FINA’s announcement which stated anyone who had gone through male puberty would not be allowed to compete in women's categories.

British Olympic diver Daley said he was “furious” at the decision and transgender athletes should not be stopped from doing “something they love just because of who they are.”

Davies, who has led a vocal campaign against transgender athletes being able to compete in women’s sports, hit out at those comments.

Watch: Tom Daley 'furious' at FINA decision to ban transgender swimmers from elite women's competitions

Davies told GB News’ Dan Wootton Tonight: “What I would say is Tom is male and this doesn’t affect him in the slightest, it doesn’t affect males in the slightest.

“Transgender men, biological females who actually happen to carry on competing in the women’s category because they wouldn’t stand a chance to compete in the men’s category.

“They don’t cause any risk to men’s sport whatsoever, so I think we have to listen to the women and FINA were the first governing body since 2015 to actually poll their female athletes and actually to listen to their coaches."

Read more: Nadine Dorries offers the illusion of easy choices while trans athletes pay the price

Diving - FINA Diving World Cup 2021 and Tokyo 2020 Olympics Aquatics Test Event - Tokyo Aquatics Centre, Tokyo, Japan - May 4, 2021  Gold medallist, Britain's Tom Daley poses with his medal after winning the men's 10m platform final REUTERS/Naoki Ogura
Tom Daley poses with his Olympic gold medal after winning the men's 10m platform final in Tokyo. (Reuters)

Daley initially told reporters at the British LGBT Awards on Friday that FINA’s decision was “not on”.

He later added in an interview with iNews: "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.

"It's something I feel really strongly about. Giving trans people the chance to share their side.”

Boris Johnson said he supported FINA’s decision when asked during a trip to Rwanda on the weekend.

He said: “I haven’t studied it in detail but I see no reason to dissent.”

The prime minister was also asked if a woman can be born with a penis, amid a debate in some quarters about anatomy and gender.

ATLANTA, GA - MARCH 17:  University of Pennsylvania swimmer Lia Thomas accepts the winning trophy for the 500 Freestyle finals during the NCAA Swimming and Diving Championships on March 17th, 2022 at the McAuley Aquatic Center in Atlanta Georgia.  (Photo by Rich von Biberstein/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
Trans swimmer Lia Thomas accepts the winning trophy for the 500 Freestyle finals. (Getty)

“Not without being a man, that’s my view about that,” he replied.

FINA announced the decision on 19 June after an extraordinary congress in Budapest, adding that it will look to set up an open competition category in which athletes can compete irrespective of their sex or gender identity.

The move means Lia Thomas, who in March became the first transgender swimmer to win a major US national college title, will be ineligible to compete in the women’s category with immediate effect.

Female-to-male transgender athletes will be eligible to compete in male categories, but in the sports of high diving and water polo they will be required to submit an ‘assumption of risk’ form, and are advised to seek advice on their physical capability.

FINA’s announcement came two weeks after cycling’s governing body, the UCI, voted to double the period of time before a rider transitioning from male to female can compete.