Phelps-beating swimsuits proliferating, but are they legal?

via DVICE Atom Feed by Charlie White on 7/2/09
Phelps-beating swimsuits proliferating, but are they legal?

There’s a techno-storm brewing in the swimming world. After Michael Phelps smacked down seven world records at the Olympics last summer, attention focused on his Speedo LZR Racer swimsuit. Rival technology has surfaced, including the Jaked 01 swimsuit you see here, worn by French swimmer Frederic Bousquet when he beat out Phelps in a 100m freestyle event in Charlotte two months ago.

Not so fast, says FINA, the sports federation that rules over such events. Even though the officials allowed Bousquet to claim the world record wearing that Jaked 01 suit, it was not officially approved. The ruling body disqualified it and nine other high-tech swimsuits for “not passing the test of buoyancy and/or thickness.” What the heck does that mean? Besides giving swimmers a skin similar to a shark’s, some of these suits trap too much air inside, giving them more buoyancy, which is deemed unfair.

The most frustrating part of this story: Even if the new technology is eventually approved, some swimmers such as Phelps are contractually bound to Speedo, and won’t be able to use these faster suits because of legalities. Phelps can still win, though — there’s more to winning swimming races than a stupid swimsuit. He’ll just have to train harder and lay off that bong for a while.

Via DailyTech