USA Swimming official quits over transgender swimmer

A USA Swimming official resigned in protest of transgender swimmer Lia Thomas, saying she can’t back a sport that allows “biological men” to compete alongside women.

Cynthia Millen, who had officiated USA Swimming meets for three decades, stepped down ahead of last week’s US Paralympics Swimming National Championships in Greensboro, North Carolina.

“I can’t do this,” Millen wrote in her resignation letter, the Washington Examiner reported Thursday. “I can’t support this.”

Millen is now hoping others in the sport will agree that Thomas, 22, has an unfair advantage over female competitors after coming out as transgender in 2019 following three years on the men’s team at the University of Pennsylvania.

Thomas has since smashed several Penn records this season – with one teammate finishing in second place in the 1650-meter freestyle some 38 second behind her.

Lia Thomas who was born biologically male, has smashed several female Penn State records.
Penn Athletics

“I told my fellow officials that I can no longer participate in a sport that allows biological men to compete against women,” Millen’s letter continued. “Everything fair about swimming is being destroyed.”

Millen said she would deem Thomas ineligible to compete if officiating a meet and called on her now-former colleagues to do the same.

“This is not right because by doing this, we’re supporting this,” Millen wrote. “There are no swim meets if there are no officials.”

Reps for USA Swimming did not immediately return a message seeking comment by The Post Friday.

Thomas, meanwhile, has said she’s taking an ongoing regimen of estrogen and testosterone blockers. She is eligible under NCAA rules to swim in women’s collegiate events after taking one year of testosterone suppressants.

“I just don’t engage with it,” Thomas said earlier this month of the widespread backlash regarding her performance. “It’s not healthy for me to read it and engage with it at all, and so I don’t, and that’s all I’ll say on that.”

Some of the “pushback” was expected, Thomas admitted.

Millen doubled-down on her criticism of Thomas Wednesday, telling Fox News allowing her to swim with women makes for unfair competition.

“Bodies swim against bodies,” Millen said. “Gender identities don’t swim.”

Men swim up to 12 percent faster than their female counterparts and have a greater lung capacity, the veteran swimming official said.

Thomas’ times in the water are now approaching records set by all-time Olympic greats like Katie Ledecky and Missy Franklin, Millen said.

“And nothing that Lia did by taking a year off to take testosterone suppression drugs – that does not change Lia’s body,” Millen said.

 Lia Thomas of the University of Pennsylvania set numerous pool, meet and program records at a three-day event in Ohio.
Lia Thomas of the University of Pennsylvania set numerous pool, meet and program records at a three-day event in Ohio.
Twitter / @PennSwimDive

“This is grossly unfair.”