Members of the University of Pennsylvania women's swimming team are speaking out against Lia Thomas's presence and success on the team.

Thomas, a 22-year-old biological man identifying as a woman, is dominating the waters of women's swimming.

Thomas recently broke two United States women's swimming records and has automatically qualified for March's NCAA National Championship meet in Atlanta.


The performance of the transgender student-athlete, who swam for Penn's men's swimming team for three years in NCAA Division I competition, has been widely criticized by the media and swimming commentators.

Now, Thomas's teammates are chiming in.

One of Penn's women's team swimmers, a biological woman, said that having Thomas swim for the women's team is "the wrong thing to do."

"Pretty much everyone individually has spoken to our coaches about not liking this. Our coach [Mike Schnur] just really likes winning. He's like most coaches. I think secretly, everyone just knows it's the wrong thing to do," the Penn swimmer told Outkick. "When the whole team is together, we have to be like, 'Oh my gosh, go Lia. That's great. You're amazing.' It's very fake."

Thomas personally believes the team and coaches at Penn have been very supportive of the athlete's transition.

"The team has been unbelievably supportive since the beginning," Thomas said. "Mike has been one of my biggest supporters and allies in this process since day one, and I'm very grateful to have that support from him and from everybody on the team I feel ... treated like any other member of the women's team."

However, a second person on Thomas's team said most team members are "angry" over the "unfair situation."

"They feel so discouraged because no matter how much work they put in it, they're going to lose," she said. "Usually, they can get behind the blocks and know they out-trained all their competitors, and they're going to win and give it all they've got."

"Now, they're having to go behind the blocks knowing no matter what, they do not have the chance to win," the swimmer continued. "I think that it's really getting to everyone."

Thomas's teammate also said that the transgender athlete has bragged about the newfound success and Thomas's reported No. 1 rank in the country for female swimmers.

"That was so easy. I was cruising," Thomas allegedly said after one race.

Thomas's teammate argued that the self-praise was unwarranted.

"Well, obviously, she's No. 1 in the country because she's at a clear physical advantage after having gone through male puberty and getting to train with testosterone for years," the swimmer said, according to Outkick. "Of course you're No. 1 in the country when you're beating a bunch of females. That's not something to brag about."

Thomas's placement on the team and recognition as a "female swimmer" is a "slap in the face that the NCAA doesn't care about the integrity of women's sports," the female student-athlete said.

The criticism and comments from Thomas's teammates come after team officials reportedly "strongly advised" members of the women's swimming team to stay silent about Thomas while speaking to the media.

Thomas said the transition from man to woman has not affected the athlete's performance in the pool and said that comparing everything to pre-transition times is not accurate "to my current ability."

The transition has resulted in a significant amount of muscle and strength loss, Thomas said.


"The process of coming out as being trans and continuing to swim was a lot of uncertainty and unknown around an area that's usually really solid," Thomas said. "Being trans has not affected my ability to do this sport, and being able to continue is very rewarding."