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Hi-tech swimsuits to be banned in US racing

Text by NEWS WIRES

Latest update : 2009-09-20

Delegates at the USA Swimming annual convention have voted to ban high-tech polyurethane swimsuits in US racing from October, three months before FINA, the swimming world’s governing body, starts to enforce a similar ban worldwide.

AFP - High-tech polyurethane swimsuits that have fueled a tidal wave of world records will be banned in US racing from October, USA Swimming announced Saturday.

Delegates at USA Swimming's annual convention voted "overwhelmingly" to implement the ban in events sanctioned by the American governing body, three months before a similar ban is slated to go into effect worldwide.

"All swimsuits shall be made from textile materials," according to the rules voted on at the convention. "For men, the swimsuit shall not extend above the navel nor below the knees, and for women, shall not cover the neck, extend past the shoulder, nor extend below the knee."

Textile fabric is defined as material that is woven or knit.

FINA, world swimming's governing body, has vowed similar legislation will go into effect on January 1.

"With Saturday's vote, our membership has sent a clear message that it wanted this action taken sooner, rather than later," said USA Swimming Executive Director chuck Weilgus. "We hope that this action will put the emphasis back where it belongs - on our athletes, their training and hard work."

FINA announced during the world championships in Rome in July - where 43 world records fell - that the suits would be banned, but not before dithering yet again over the date of implementation.

Critics say the suits made of plolyurethane and other polymers offer unacceptable performance enhancing properties.
 

Date created : 2009-09-20

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