Last month we reported that FINA had convened a summit meeting in Lausanne, Switzerland, to debate the issue of all high-tech swimsuits with manufacturers, scientists, coaches and swimmers following calls to ban them on the grounds that they offer extra buoyancy and therefore amount to performance-enhancing aids.
Now comes news that World swimming governing body FINA has acted by placing restrictions on the design of the controversial hi-tech swimsuits that have prompted a spate of world records in the last year.
Following a three-day meeting in Dubai, FINA has stipulated swimsuits should not cover the neck and must not extend past the shoulders and ankles. The changes, which will be in place for July’s world championships, also limit the suits’ thickness and buoyancy.
‘FINA wishes to recall the main and core principle is that swimming is a sport essentially based on the physical performance of the athlete,’ said a statement from swimming’s world governing body.
FINA also intends to limit the use of non-permeable materials in the suits and only recognize world records if approved suits have been used.
Suits to be used from 1st January 2010 will have to be put in for approval by 1st November. Future submissions will have to be made 12 months in advance of a world championship or an Olympic Games, with the approved models to be available at least six months prior to the events.
FINA will also publish a list of approved models and these will be used in competitions starting 1st January 2010.