A former official at USA Swimming quit her position of 30 years on Dec. 17 to protest the continued dominance of the University of Pennsylvania's transgender swimmer Lia Thomas.

Cynthia Millen resigned while preparing to officiate the U.S. Paralympics Swimming National Championships in Greensboro, North Carolina.

"I can't do this, I can't support this," she wrote in her resignation letter.


Millen hopes her decision to resign will inspire others to follow suit.

"I told my fellow officials that I can no longer participate in a sport which allows biological men to compete against women. Everything fair about swimming is being destroyed," Millen said.

Thomas, a 22-year-old biological male who identifies as a female, has overwhelmed women's NCAA swimming in 2021.

Before transitioning, Thomas swam for UPenn's men's swimming team for three years in NCAA Division I competition.

Since transitioning, Thomas has outperformed nearly every athlete he has competed against, smashed multiple U.S. women's swimming records, and automatically qualified for March's NCAA National Championship meet in Atlanta.

Now, Thomas is nearing records set by U.S. Olympic champions Missy Franklin and Katie Ledecky, with Millen arguing it's because Thomas has a clear advantage in being a biological male.

Millen said she would rule Thomas ineligible to compete if she was officiating a meet and Thomas was on the starting block.

"If Lia came on my deck as a referee, I would pull the coach aside and say, 'Lia can swim, but Lia can swim exhibition or a time trial. Lia cannot compete against those women because that's not fair,'" she said.

Millen has called on other volunteer officials to quit if asked to officiate meets between biologically male and female swimmers.

"This is not right because by doing this, we're supporting this," according to Millen. "There are no swim meets if there are no officials."

Neither the NCAA nor USA Swimming has commented on Thomas's dominance in the pool, with only parents and athletes calling out Thomas for the athlete's advantage, according to a report.

Now, the "adults in the room" need to step into the conversation, Millen said.

"People are saying, 'Why don't the swimmers just leave?' Well, those are 19-, 20-year-old kids," she said. "It's up to us. We're the ones who are supposed to be providing this fair competition. [The swimming authorities] should be the ones who should be saying, 'Wait a minute.'"

The transition from male to female did not affect the swimmer's performance in the pool, 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."