Fina to ban hi-tech suits from 2010

57791728World swimming governing body Fina has decided to ban controversial non-textile swimsuits, but not until 2010. The introduction of polyurethane suits in 2008 coincided with a marked improvement in swim times meaning world records have fallen dramatically. However, with the ban not being implemented until January polyurethane suits will still be used at the Fina World Championships in Rome. That is likely to see more records set which may not be broken for many years. The return to common textile suits, men in shorts and women in suits above the knee and to the shoulder strap, would mean world records would be almost impossible to better in the short term. The World Swimming Federation’s decision at a conference in Rome came amid calls from a number of swimming federations for performance-enhancing suits to be banned. However, the question of exactly how to define “allowable textiles” is unlikely to be determined until the next Fina bureau meeting in September or October. The original Speedo LZR is a 50% polyurethane swimsuit which caused controversy in 2008 as a series of world records were set by swimmers wearing it. Since it was unveiled in February that year, 135 long and short course world records have been broken. But since the Olympics, a second generation 100% polyurethane swimsuit including the Adidas Hydrofoil has emerged, which is said to compress muscle, add extra buoyancy and provide more forward propulsion. Fina rejected some of the new suits in March after complaints they trapped air around a swimmer’s body, thus making them more buoyant, but the ban was lifted after manufacturers provided evidence that they did not trap air. Source: BBC News Read our previous posts on this subject

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