Swimsuits Banned, Records Questioned

Cutting-edge swimwear adds array of advantages
By Matt Cantor,  Newser Staff
Posted May 20, 2009 7:39 AM CDT
Swimsuits Banned, Records Questioned
France's Frederick Bousquet, center, and Alain Bernard, left, are facing scrutiny over their records.   (AP Photo/Claude Paris)

After more than 100 records were broken in the past year and a half, the international swimming federation has put 348 high-tech swimsuits under the microscope—banning 10 of them and requiring modifications to another 136, the New York Times reports. The suits can increase buoyancy, squeeze the body into position, and cut drag, said a coach. FINA’s move could lead to the disqualification of some records.

“There are some athletes that probably have fooled themselves that they are swimming faster, that it’s their own abilities, but technically there is so much evidence that it was the technology of the suits that has brought on a lot of these improvements,” he noted. Some 15 models of the line worn by Michael Phelps during the Olympics were approved, but those worn by some French record-setters have been called into question.
(More swimming stories.)

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