Carlile urges us all, swimming federations and individuals, to make our voices heard, if we believe, as he, that the intrusion of the Speedo LZR and similar Hi Tech swimwears is harming our sport. Below is enclosed the open letter from Forbes Carlile, as shown here on SwimNews.
Try and tell me that if Matt Biondi or Tom Jager wore these suits they wouldn’t have been much faster. Jager’s 21.81 50 free from 1990 with a two percent decrease is a 21.37. All of a sudden Eamon’s 21.28 isn’t that ridiculous. Biondi’s 21.85 (1990) and 48.42 (1988) turn into 21.41 and a “world record” 47.45 respectively.
How about the women? Janet Evans’ 4:03.85 400 free from 1988 turns into a 3:58.97. Mary T’s 2:05.96 200 fly from 1981 turns into a 2:03.44. I could go all day with this, but you get the point.
The truly scary part is that this “two percent” theory applies to the new suits vs. the most recent suits before hand. Compare it to what the older timers above were wearing and you go way past the realm of ridiculous.
As you can read here on SwimInfo.com, TYR yesterday announced its newest swimsuit called the Tracer Rice at the French Olympic Trials. According to Scott Goldblatt at SwimNetwork.com, one of the novelties of this new suit is that it shifts the center of buoyancy closer to the center of mass, in such a way that the legs now sink less relative to the rest of the body.
South Africa’s Gerhard Zandberg has stated that he will rather be fined $4,750 for wearing a Speedo at the Olympics, than sticking with a sponsored Arena that doesn’t deliver. He and Italy’s Filippo Magnini still have hopes for the new Arena R-Evolution, but when FINA wouldn’t allow them to wear it at the World Championships 100 meter freestyle final, Magnini switched to a Speedo.
SwimNews’ Craig Lord compared the performance gains of 450 swimmers now wearing the LZR Racer at Manchester 2008, and found that more than 400 of them were clustered in an approximate range from 1.6% to 2.3%. Presented to a professor who spends his life looking at probabilities, the answer was clear: Without a shadow of a doubt … if you have that kind of result in a medical experiment, you’d be looking at ‘case proven’. Read more here on SwimNews.com.
Or more specific, from the official FINA website:
In regards to the swimwear material, the discussion clarified that there was a broad understanding between the manufacturers and FINA that the rules were not meant and should not be interpreted as limiting the materials to fabrics stricto sensu but that other material could be used, as has already been the case for several years.
FINA confirmed that all the swimsuits approved so far are complying with the specifications.
19 long-course and 11 short-course world records have now fallen since the launch of the Speedo LZR Racer swim suit in February, of which the LZR was worn in all but one long-course and 2 short-course events.
In the remaining record breaking events, the swimmers wore other brands of high tech full-body swimsuits.
According to the CNN, U.S. head coach Mark Schubert believes that every record in the sport could fall at the Beijing Olympics.
The technology advantage of the new Speedo’s is so big, that according to TimesOnline, the main rivals have let it be known that they will not penalise athletes who wear other apparel when racing for a national team sponsored by Speedo.
Quote Swimming Science Journal. The new bodysuits are a threat to the very nature of swimming, because some will benefit more than others, some might get them in better fitted form, women benefit more than men, and more. “The Genie is out of the bottle while the man behind the curtain is left holding Pandora’s box”, proclaims Brent Rutemiller here on SwimInfo.
Coaching guru Forbes Carlile has sent an open letter stating that his sport is being prostituted by new suit technology. Italy head coach Alberto Castagnetti describes the LZR as ‘technological doping’, and FINA president Mustapha Larfaoui is open to review the suit rules. Craig Lord at SwimNews.com wants FINA to bar bodysuits at all junior events, because of the potential $40.000 of costs a year. Meanwhile, Mitzuno launches a new suit that they say rivals the LZR Racer.