Video: NBC News
Florida Governor Ron DeSantis signed a proclamation declaring NCAA 500-yard women's freestyle runner-up Emma Weyant the "rightful winner" after her transgender opponent, Lia Thomas, 22, took the event last Thursday, winning by a time of 1.75 seconds.
"...I, Ron DeSantis, Governor of the State of Florida, do hereby declare in Florida that Emma Weyant is the rightful winner of the 2022 NCAA Division I Women's 500-yard Freestyle," said DeSantis during a televized press conference.
"Florida rejects the NCAA's efforts to destroy women's athletics, disapproves of the NCAA elevating ideology over biology, and takes offense at the NCAA trying to make others complicit in a lie," continued the outspoken governor.
Weyant, an Olympic silver medalist from the University of Virginia refused to comment on the controversy and Thomas's recent dominance after political pundits and former athletes called for measures to be taken to curtail the influence of transgender athletes in women's sports.
“By allowing men to compete in women’s sports, the NCAA is destroying opportunities for women, making a mockery of its championships, and perpetuating a fraud,” DeSantis wrote on Twitter following the event.
According to a report in USA Today, last year DeSantis enacted legislature prohibiting transgender athletes from participating in women’s sports at the high school and college levels in his state