Michael Phelps Calls For ‘Level Playing Field’ When CNN Anchor Asks About UPenn Trans Swimmer


Bryan Babb Contributor
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Olympic gold medal champion Michael Phelps called for a “level playing field” when questioned about the University of Pennsylvania trans swimmer Lia Thomas.

“I mean look, 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 organizing committees again,” Phelps told CNN anchor Christian Amanpour during a Jan. 13 interview. “Because it has to be a level playing field. I think that’s something that we all need. Because that’s what sports are.” (RELATED: USA Swimming Official Quits Over UPenn Trans Athlete Lia Thomas: ‘Everything Fair … Is Being Destroyed’)

“For me, I don’t know where this is going to go,” Phelps continued. “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 all be played at an even playing field. I don’t know what that looks like in the future, but it’s hard. It’s very complicated and this is my sport. This has been my sport my whole entire career. And honestly, the one thing I would love is for everybody to compete on an even playing field. That’s all I can say.”

Phelps currently holds 28 Olympic medals, according to the Olympics website. Of the 28, 23 are gold, nearly doubling the count of those belonging to his closest competitors.

Thomas faced criticism last year after the swimmer shattered several women’s swimming records at UPenn. This season was Thomas’ first on the women’s swim team after spending three years on the men’s team.

Yale trans swimmer Iszac Henig, who has not started hormone therapy, defeated Thomas on Jan. 8, once in the 100-yard freestyle and again in the 400-yard freestyle relay.