On Friday the governing body of swimming – FINA voted to ban the controversial racing suits for 2010. The final vote will take place this coming week but all reports are that the vast majority of the suits on the market will soon be banned by FINA. This includes the Speedo LZR Racer, BlueSeventy Nero, Aqua Zone Renegade, Jaked, and the new TYR A7 racing swim suits. The FINA list (RULE SW10.7) of banned swimsuits should be released by the end of September. Reports are that there will be no material allowed below the knees and no material on the arms for both men and women. The men’s suits cannot go above the waist and the most important ruling will be textiles only. This will outlaw all of the non-permeable material swim suits.
In the mean time the suit companies will be appealing the decision and jocking for a position on the approved list of swimsuits. Speedo has already started with the following statement:
Speedo is fully committed to safeguarding the reputation of the sport of swimming at every level and for this reason we will await a confirmation from FINA about their final decision regarding approved swimwear rules for 2010 before making further comment.
However, we would like to re-iterate that Speedo has always operated within the rules of the sport and will continue to do so, investing in research and development to ensure that we continue to lead the way in high performance swimwear that meets the approval of both the governing body and the most important people, the athletes themselves.
As a forward thinking company, that has invested millions in R&D, we believe that technology “properly monitored and adhering to guidelines – does have a place in all sport. Any move which seems to take the sport back two decades“ such as a possible return to the traditional female swimsuit and male jammer – is a retrograde step that could be detrimental to the future of swimming.
We recognise the catastrophic effect and controversy that the introduction of fully non-permeable wetsuits by certain manufacturers has had on the sport of swimming in recent months. Speedo has always believed that there is no place in the sport for buoyancy aids. We were and remain highly supportive of FINA’s Dubai Charter which recommended the banning of these suits from January 2010, whilst allowing some elements of non-permeable materials.
The Speedo LZR Racer suit, which was developed in strict accordance with FINA rules and regulations and fully approved by FINA in 2007, has had an unprecedented positive impact on the sport of swimming since its launch. Developed over a three year period with the input of over 400 swimmers, coaches and experts, the swimming community by and large welcomed the benefits the suit brings whilst recognising that it upheld the integrity of athletes as it does not aid buoyancy.
For over 80 years, we have taken a lead role in supporting the sport from grass roots all the way to elite levels. We have been responsible for every major ‘legal’ innovation in swimwear since 1928. Speedo remains totally dedicated to the sport of swimming at every level.