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NCAA official hands in resignation letter over 'regressive policies' on transgender athletes

NCAA official hands in resignation letter over ‘regressive policies’ on transgender athletes

Tooba Shakir 2 months ago 0

William Bock III resigned from his position on the Division I Committee on Infractions last week, claiming in a resignation letter to NCAA President Charlie Baker that the organization’s current policy on transgender athletes harms women and deprives them of “competitive opportunities.”

Bock, who previously served as the general counsel for the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) for nearly 14 years, raised his concerns about “competitive fairness” in a resignation letter sent to Baker on Friday. 

NCAA swimming banners

NCAA banners hang before the start of the Division I Men’s Swimming and Diving Championships at the Jean K. Freeman Aquatic Center on March 24, 2023, in Minneapolis, Minnesota. (Carlos Gonzalez/NCAA Photos via Getty Images)

“I joined the NCAA Division I Committee on Infractions as a public member in 2016 because of the important challenge of protecting and promoting a level playing field in college sports,” Bock said in the letter, obtained by OutKick. 

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“Although I may not have agreed with the wisdom of every rule in the NCAA rulebook, I believed the intent behind the NCAA’s rules was competitive fairness and protection of equal opportunities for student-athletes. This conviction has changed as I have watched the NCAA double down on regressive policies which discriminate against female student-athletes.” 

Lia Thomas on the podium

Lia Thomas looks on from the podium after finishing fifth in the 200-yard freestyle during the NCAA Division I Women’s Swimming and Diving Championship at the McAuley Aquatic Center on the campus of the Georgia Institute of Technology on March 18, 2022, in Atlanta. (Mike Comer/NCAA Photos via Getty Images)

Bock specifically made reference to the emergence of former University of Pennsylvania swimmer Lia Thomas and the NCAA’s later decision to adopt a sport-by-sport policy, some of which included participation metrics based on testosterone levels. 

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“This policy harms women, denies biological reality, ignores that testosterone suppression does not offset the enormous performance advantage of being born male, and provides cover for NCAA member institutions to violate federal law,” Bock wrote. 

“I understand the effects of male biology and performance enhancing drugs on sport performance, and I can tell you that the competitive advantage Lance Armstrong obtained through doping pales in comparison to the advantage that Lia Thomas had over female competitors due to retained male advantage,” he added, referencing his time with USADA. 

Lia Thomas enters the NCAA Swimming and Diving Championships

University of Pennsylvania swimmer Lia Thomas enters for the 200-freestyle final during the NCAA Swimming and Diving Championships on March 18, 2022, at the McAuley Aquatic Center in Atlanta. (Rich von Biberstein/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

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Bock said in his letter that he was “hopeful” that a change in leadership would lead to “change direction on this issue,” but seeing none – he opted for resignation. 

“The NCAA cannot succeed in achieving ethical sport so long as it endorses a policy of discrimination against female student-athletes. Because of the NCAA’s track record of persistent disregard for competitive fairness for female student-athletes, I have decided that continued service on the Division I Committee on Infractions is not an effective way for me to contribute to a level playing field in college sport.” 

The NCAA did not immediately respond to Fox News Digital’s request for comment. 

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