Caitlin Jenner Says Lia Thomas' Win 'Wasn't Fair'

Caitlyn Jenner has repeated her stance that she does not support transgender women taking part in competitive female sports, adding that University of Pennsylvania swimmer Lia Thomas' recent NCAA victory "wasn't fair."

Jenner, who won gold in the decathlon at the 1976 Olympics before transitioning in 2015, told Fox News' Sean Hannity that she doesn't think transgender women should participate in women's sports amid the continuing debate around Thomas.

Thomas became the first-ever transgender NCAA Division I champion after winning the women's 500-yard freestyle on Thursday, with her appearance at the championships generating protests and outrage from parents, fellow athletes and conservative figures.

Thomas, who finished more than a second ahead of second-placed Emma Weyant, was able to compete after following NCAA rules, including taking mandatory testosterone tests and undergoing hormone therapy for at least 12 months.

Speaking to Hannity, Jenner suggested that Thomas still had an unfair advantage over the other competitors, but admitted that there is not "one answer that fits everything" with regards to the debate on trans women competing in sports.

"I've never been against Lia Thomas, she actually played within the rules. Was it fair? No, it wasn't fair, it's not a fair fight. But she played within the rules," Jenner said.

"The problem is the NCAA and the rules. They really need to take a serious look about what's happening in women's sports. And they have to make it fair.

"I have been from the beginning out to protect women's sports. I haven't been out to protect transgender athletes, but this is not an easy—it's a tough subject. There's no one answer that fits everything."

Jenner then referenced how she "got blasted" by LGBT news site Pink News, which tweeted that she had launched "yet another disgraceful attack on trans athletes without a hint of irony" while sharing an article detailing her stance.

In reply, Jenner wrote: "No, I just had the balls to stand up for women and girls in sports." The tweet went viral and has since been retweeted more than 25,000 times.

"We need to do that. We need to stand up for women's sports," Jenner told Hannity. "We got to keep it fair."

One person who has expressed support for Thomas amid the furor is Erica Sullivan, an Olympic silver medalist who came third behind Thomas and Weyant in the 500-yard freestyle final.

Writing for Newsweek, Sullivan described how she is "proud" to support Thomas and other transgender athletes and suggested there are bigger issues that need to be addressed in order to save women's sports.

"Many of those who oppose transgender athletes like Lia being able to participate in sports claim to be 'protecting women's sports,'" Sullivan wrote.

"As a woman in sports, I can tell you that I know what the real threats to women's sports are: sexual abuse and harassment, unequal pay and resources and a lack of women in leadership. Transgender girls and women are nowhere on this list.

"Women's sports are stronger when all women—including trans women—are protected from discrimination, and free to be their true selves."

Caitlyn Jenner lia thomas
Caitlyn Jenner, right, has suggested that the recent NCAA victory by transgender swimmer Lia Thomas, left, "wasn't fair." Justin Casterline/ Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic/Getty Images