Wednesday, May 20, 2009

FINA Bans Some Swimsuits

In the debate as to whether swimsuits are performance enhancing, a decision has been made and the answer is...yes.

FINA, the international swimming federation, has moved to reject 146 types of the high-tech suits. 136 of the suits have been offered the option of modifications within 30 days. This timeline would accommodate the world swimming championships in Rome that begin July 19th.

Grant Stoelwinder, a leading swim coach from Australia, said many swimmers were fooling themselves thinking their abilities were improving when it was due to the technology of the suits. He said minor benefits were achieved through added buoyancy, reduced surface drag or compressing a swimmer’s body, into a streamlined and efficient position.

One company that came out relatively unscathed from this development was Speedo and their top swimmer, Michael Phelps who wears one of their LZR swimsuits. Fifteen versions of the LZR line were approved by FINA.

Aaron Peirsol beat Phelps in the 100 meter backstroke this past Saturday, but was wearing a suit that has now been banned by FINA. We'll see who performs better when the two meet next on a level playing field.

No comments: