Lia Thomas, transgender swimmer
© DailyMail.comIt was announced on Wednesday afternoon that the 25-year-old swimmer would not be permitted compete in women's events at the Olympic Games
Paula Scanlan has welcomed the news that her former team-mate Lia Thomas will not be allowed compete at the Olympic Games and claims she should receive an apology for being 'forced to undress' with the transgender athlete '18 times a week'.

It was announced on Wednesday afternoon that the 25-year-old swimmer would not be permitted compete in the Olympic Games after losing her legal battle to have the rules barring her potential involvement overturned.

Scanlan took to social media shortly after verdict was revealed to demand an apology, writing the following on Twitter (X): 'Okay, but is anyone going to apologize for forcing us to undress with him 18 times a week?'.

Thomas first caught the headlines in March 2022 when she became the first trans-athlete to win the women's NCAA college swimming title - the USA's most prestigious college title.

But, it wasn't long before the World Aquatics (WA) introduced a rule change that would prevent anyone who had undergone 'any part of male puberty' from competing in the female category.

Instead, they created an 'open' category for which transgender athletes would be eligible. However, the decision didn't sit well with Thomas - who asked for the Court of Arbitration for Sport to overturn the rules approved in 2022.

Thomas - who swam for Pennsylvania's men's team for three seasons before beginning hormone replacement therapy in early 2019 - said that the rules were invalid, unlawful and discriminatory.

However, the CAS panel consisting of three judges dismissed Thomas' request for arbitration with the World Aquatics governing body and threw the case out on a 'technicality'.

They said that Thomas was 'simply not entitled to engage with eligibility to compete in WA competitions such as the Olympics or world championships' because she was no longer a part of US swimming.

As a result, the decision ended Thomas' hopes of competing at the Olympic Games - which the 25-year-old referred to as 'deeply disappointing' in a statement provided by her legal team.

The statement shared via AP read: 'Blanket bans preventing trans women from competing are discriminatory and deprive us of valuable athletic opportunities that are central to our identities.'

Comment: Life is discriminatory. Get over it.

Thomas is understood to have said that the decision made by the Court of Arbitration for Sport should be viewed as a call to action for trans-women to 'fight for our dignity and human rights.'

While Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) president/CEO Sarah Kate Ellis said in a statement that Thomas deserves a chance to participate in her sport and follow their dream.

'World Aquatics continues to spread disinformation about transgender people as a distorted way to 'protect women,' Ellis added. 'Transgender women are women and all athletes who want to play and follow the rules should have a chance to do so.'

However, one person who welcomed the news was Thomas' former team-mates, Scanlan. Scanlan took to Twitter (X) to make her feelings known after the verdict was announced.

Scanlan - who used to swim at the University of Pennsylvania alongside Thomas - retweeted the New York Post's story announcing that the transgender athlete would be unable to compete at the Olympics.

The post - which has been viewed 3.9million times and liked 47,000 times - read: 'Okay, but is anyone going to apologize for forcing us to undress with him 18 times a week?'.

This is not the first time Scanlan has spoken out against Thomas' involvement in women's sport - having previously lashed out at the Democratic party for putting 'trans rights' above women's fears.

While testifying before the House Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution and Limited Government last week, Scanlan put forward the issue of transgender athletes competing in women's sports.

She urged lawmakers to put women's physical safety first when making decisions about women-only spaces like locker rooms - having previously confessed to having 'nightmares for weeks' after sharing a changing room with trans-athletes.

Having reportedly been a victim of sexual assault in a bathroom as a 16-year-old, Scanlan shared that Thomas' presence brought up previous trauma from her adolescence.

Speaking to the New York Post, Scanlan said: 'In general, bathrooms were a place I felt really uncomfortable. I would just kind of relive the situation that I went through when I was 16.

'I would be at my locker and then all of a sudden hear a masculine voice, and I would just jump. 'I was like, 'Oh my gosh, somebody got in here'. It's incredibly vulnerable. I had nightmares for weeks about men being there while we were dressing.'

Thomas triggered a wave of controversy after switching over to the women's team in 2021. She set seven UPenn women's teams records (five individual) and won three individual events at the Ivy League Championships in February 2022.

Thomas defended her place in women's swimming during an interview with Sports Illustrated last year. She started by saying: 'I'm a woman, just like anybody else on the team. I've always viewed myself as just a swimmer. It's what I've done for so long; it's what I love.'

However, her critics have even included those in the transgender community, with Olympic champion Caitlyn Jenner not agreeing with Thomas being allowed to compete as a woman.

'I've been consistent in how I've approached transgender athletes and it depends on the sport. Every sport is different,' she told Fox News earlier this year. 'Obviously, we saw with Lia Thomas she had gone through male puberty, bigger cardiovascular system, it just wasn't fair.'

While Thomas' college career is over, Scanlan still believes it's an important topic given there will be similar instances in the future with amateur and professional sport.

'If there had been a man on my team in high school, I would have quit, and I would literally have nothing,' she told The Post. 'I would never have gotten into a good college. My entire life would have been derailed.

'If even one girl is discouraged from competing in sports over this, we've failed,' Scanlan added. 'It's so important to give girls these same opportunities.'