Maria Sharipova, who is also a tennis player, has responded to a question about her gender identity by saying, “I’m a woman!”
Sharapov’s post has received a lot of attention online and on social media since she took to Twitter to explain her new identity.
“I am a woman,” Sharapavs message reads.
“As you know, there is no gender binary.
Women are made up of many different things.
We are different, but that is not a reason for discrimination.”
Sharapova was born a male but identifies as female.
“The gender I have chosen to live in is not something that has been born or shaped me,” she told the BBC.
“It has always been there, just like my body.
I have never felt like something different was coming to me.”
She has made it clear that she does not see herself as female and is very much in the public eye as a male athlete.
“I am an athlete, I am not an activist,” she said.
“My whole life I have always wanted to be a female, and I have felt that way my whole life.
And that’s the way I am.”
Sharapev has spoken about being a lesbian and says she feels a sense of belonging when she meets others who do not fit her preconceived notions of gender.
She added that she wants to be known as a woman and to be acknowledged for her accomplishments.
Sharipova has previously spoken about her desire to be the first woman to compete in the Olympics in the men’s 50m butterfly.
Women’s swimming has been a source of controversy for decades.
In 2014, Serena Williams was banned from the women’s 100m freestyle following her positive test for the anabolic steroid Nandrolone and was subsequently stripped of her gold medal.
In 2017, the US Olympic Committee voted to remove all male athletes from competition for the Rio Games.