A former college swimmer who has been outspoken in her criticism of Lia Thomas said she felt “extreme discomfort” sharing a locker room with the transgender athlete she competed against.
Riley Gaines, who swam competitively for the University of Kentucky, told Fox News’ Tucker Carlson that she was uncomfortable changing in the same locker room as someone with “different parts” and accused organizers of failing to disclose the fact that Thomas would be using the women’s facilities.
“That’s not something we were forewarned about, which I don’t think is right in any means, changing in a locker room with someone who has different parts,” Gaines said in an interview with the conservative talk-show host.
The college athlete who graduated this year has repeatedly knocked Thomas for her participation in women’s swimming — saying Thomas, who was born male, has an unfair biological advantage.
“So not only were we forced to race against a male, we were forced to change in the locker room with one,” Gaines said on Wednesday’s episode of “Tucker Carlson Today.”
“Then we’re sitting there not even knowing who to talk to, who to complain to, because this kind of all happened behind the scenes and very discreetly.”
Gaines said the National Collegiate Athletic Association failed to protect the integrity of women’s sports.
In March, Gaines tied with Thomas for fifth place in the 200-year freestyle NCAA championships and has loudly criticized Thomas since then.
Earlier this month, Gaines slammed the University of Pennsylvania for nominating Thomas for the National Collegiate Athletic Association’s 2022 “Woman of the Year” award.
“This is yet another slap in the face to women,” Gaines, who was also nominated for the award, tweeted. “First a female national title and now nominated for the pinnacle award in collegiate athletics. The @NCAA has made this award worthless.”
Gaines was first interviewed about Thomas’ participation in women’s swimming by Carlson in April.
At that time, Gaines said being forced to compete against Thomas was unfair and said the majority of female athletes she knew felt the same way.
“We’re dealing with something that’s completely out of our control when we’re racing, biological males,” she said in the April interview. “Whether they have different lung capacities, their height, testosterone levels whether they’ve used testosterone blockers are not — it doesn’t suppress going through puberty as a male. Especially Lia who swam for three years as a male.”
“It’s completely unfair and it’s a matter of equity really,” Gaines added.
Last month, the controversy surrounding transgender women in sports led to the world swimming’s governing body, FINA, effectively banning them from competing in elite women’s events.