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Michael Phelps' trans ex-girlfriend Taylor Lianne Chandler slams him for Lia Thomas ban from competition

Taylor Lianne Chandler, the transgender ex-girlfriend of Michael Phelps, called the olympian a hypocrite for his stance on trans athletes taking part in organized sports after 16 members of the University of Pennsylvania's women's swim team sent a letter to the school and Ivy League officials demanding that Lia Thomas be banned from next month's NCAA championships.

Thomas, 22, is a trans student who is part of the women's swimming team. The letter by the 16 unamed students comes after the association updated its policy to allow each sport to determine the eligibility of transgender athletes.

"We fully support Lia Thomas in her decision to affirm her gender identity and to transition from a man to a woman," read the anonymous letter. "Lia has every right to live her life authentically."

"However, we also recognize that when it comes to sports competition, that the biology of sex is a separate issue from someone's gender identity. Biologically, Lia holds an unfair advantage over competition in the women's category, as evidenced by her rankings that have bounced from #462 as a male to #1 as a female."

The unnamed athletes argued that if Thomas is allowed to compete against them, she could break Penn, Ivy, and NCAA Women's Swimming records. They claim she could never have done any of that as a male athlete.

In an exclusive interview with Radar, Chandler slammed the request by the 16 unnamed athletes. She also blamed Phelps - the most-decorated olympian of all time - for influencing the stance of the UPenn students when he said "sports should all be played on an even playing field."

"The 'teammates' of Lia Thomas come out with a scathing letter stating they don't want to compete against her, but they are not confident enough in their convictions to state their names," Chandler said. "I'd be more apt to believe this is their parents behind this, an older generation that was taught to hate anyone outside gender norms."

"Everyone is so quick to state advantages because someone was born a biological male. Biological sex is far from that simple and far more complex. How many people truly know their biological sex beyond what was assigned at birth by a doctor based on genitals?"

Michael Phelps' genetic advantage

Chandler was born intersex, meaning she had male genitalia but no testicles and a uterus but no ovaries. She called out Phelps' own genetic superiority, claiming his 6'7" wingspan, double-jointed ankles and large feet, among other factors, give him an unfair advantage over other swimmers.

"Biology of sex is multifaceted and includes genetic sex, hormonal sex and chromosomal sex," said Chandler. "What does that all mean? It means you may be genetically male or female; chromosomally male or female; and hormonally male, female or non-binary, with cells that may or may not hear the male/female/non-binary call."

"All of this can lead to a body that can be male, female or non-binary. Notice how confusing it gets. Can you point to what the absolute cause of biological sex is? Is it fair to judge people by it? No!"

"Governing bodies should not succumb to outside pressure by people that are not trans and don't have a horse in the race," she continued. "What makes Michael Phelps an authority to even speak to trans women competing in swimming?"

Chandler, whose forthcoming book Beyond The Gold will be available in September, is worried about Thomas' future in the sport and the implications that would arise from banning her from the competition. She believes standards for transgender women in sports should be determined on a case-by-case and sport-by-sport basis.

"In the end, this would lead to further separating trans youth from wanting to participate in sports as well as new forms of hate, prejudice and bias, all of which would lead to higher suicide rates," Chandler said. "I implore you, what if this was your child growing up? Women's rights should include all women, not a select few. My hope is that sounder minds will prevail."

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