Friday, February 20, 2009

The Hot Button Issue of the Day - Swimsuits

FINA, represented by its Executive and Technical Swimming Commission, Legal, Coaches and Athletes Commissions’ representatives, held a meeting at its Swiss headquarters today with representatives of 16 swimwear manufacturers in order to examine amendments of the current FINA Requirements for Swimwear Approval.

Based on FINA's proposals and swimwear manufacturers information, the FINA Bureau will consider the following amendments at its upcoming March 12-14 meeting in Dubai:

• DESIGN: The swimsuit shall not cover swimmer's neck and shall not extend past the shoulders or past the ankles.

o The material used shall have a maximum thickness of 1 mm
o When used, the material shall follow the body shape
o The application of different materials shall not create air trapping effects

• BUOYANCY: The swimsuit shall not have a buoyancy effect of more than 1 Newton (100gr)

• CONSTRUCTION: Any system providing external stimulation or influence of any form (e.g. pain reduction, chemical/medical substance release, electro-stimulation) is prohibited

• CUSTOMISATION: All swimsuits of an approved model must be constructed in an identical fashion with no variation/modification for individual swimmers from the samples submitted for approval

• USE: Swimmers can only wear one swimsuit at a time

• CONTROL: FINA will establish its own independent control/testing program. The scientific testing will be conducted by a team led by Professor Jan-Anders Manson of the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology and Laboratory of Polymer and Composite Technology

• APPROVAL: Swimwear manufacturers will be able to make submissions for approval of swimsuits until March 31, 2009.

Additionally, rules applicable from January 1, 2010 will also be examined by the FINA Bureau. One of the main aspects under consideration is the limitation of the use of non-permeable material. "FINA has studied this matter very carefully, and together with all interested parties and the scientific expertise of EPFL, we have reached the best possible result," said FINA President Mustapha Larfaoui. "With these amendments, FINA shows that it continues to monitor the evolution of the sport’s equipment with the main objective of keeping the integrity of sport. While we need to remain open to evolution, the most important factors must be the athletes’ preparation and physical condition on achieving their performances."

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