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Michael Phelps Likens Trans Athletes Competing In Women's Events To Doping

Michael Phelps Likens Trans Athletes Competing In Women's Events To Doping

The Olympian admits the situation is 'complicated' however said there needs to be a 'level playing field'.

Stewart Perrie

Stewart Perrie

Michael Phelps has spoken out against trans women competing in female swimming events.

The 28-time Olympic medalist admits that the situation is tricky to navigate, however likened it to how some athletes could engage in doping to get a competitive advantage.

Speaking to CNN's Christiane Amanpour, Phelps said: "I can talk from a standpoint of doping, I don't think I've competed in a clean field in my entire career.

"So I think this leads back to the organising committees again. Because it has to be a level playing field.

"That's something that we all need. 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 be played on an even playing field. I don't know what that looks like in the future, but it's hard.

"Honestly, I don't know what to say, it's very complicated. This is my sport, this has been my sport for my whole entire career, and one thing I would love is for everybody to be able to compete on an even playing field. That's all I can say."

The only problem with Phelps' message is intent.

When someone decides to take performance enhancing drugs to make them more competitive, that's a decision based purely on trying to be the best.

Wang Peng/Xinhua/Alamy Live News

Being transgender is the deeply ingrained belief that you're born into a body that you feel is different to your sex.

Transitioning from male to female (or vice versa) is an incredibly brave, difficult and life-altering process that is done to improve the mental health and wellbeing of the individual. It's not done so that you can beat other people in a pool, on a track or other sporting arena.

The topic of trans women competing in female events has been cast into the spotlight after Lia Thomas shattered several US women's NCAA records in the pool.

The trans swimmer's record-breaking performances sparked debate about her eligibility in the sport, with some of her competitors anonymously speaking out about how it's unfair because she used to be male.

According to NCAA laws, trans athletes are allowed to compete as long as they have undergone proper testosterone therapy for at least one year.

Featured Image Credit: Alamy

Topics: SPORT, News, Trans