Britain joins international clamour against performance-enhancing swimsuits

December 17th, 2008 - 3:49 pm ICT by ANI  

London, Dec 17 (ANI): Great Britain and 14 of the Continents 17 best swimming nations, want limits and controls to be placed on performance-enhancing suit technology in time for the World Championships in Rome in July 2009.

The move, in support of similar demands in the United States, comes at the end of a year that, by the close of the European Short-course Championships in Croatia, had featured 105 world and 136 European records.

The head coach of British Swimming, Dennis Pursley, has given his backing to the revolt by leading European coaches over swimsuits, The Independent reported.

Fifteen out of the 17 top European nations, including Great Britain, have signed a protest which is to be presented to the world governing body FINA calling for a number of regulations to be discussed and implemented.

Their concerns centre on the technological advances in the design of swimsuits and the fabrics used, with records starting to fall immediately after the introduction of the Speedo LZR Racer suit in February.

Within six weeks more than 15 world records had fallen and in Rijeka nine marks went, including four to Amaury Leveaux alone, the paper said.

The Frenchman became the first man to break the 45-second barrier in the 100metres freestyle and his time of 44.94 means almost two seconds has been taken off Alex Popov’’s record in just 13 months.

The materials used in the suits include polyurethane panels which help the swimmers become more streamlined through the water and neoprene, a flotation device. As a result the swimmer is allowed more speed and buoyancy in the water and fatigue is delayed.

Pursley said: “It demeans the records and kind of cheapens them to an extent. Up to this generation of suits I think it’’s just been maximising performance but I think we”re crossing the line to enhancing performance and to me that is a whole different area.”. (ANI)

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