FINA Releases Information About Speedsuit Meeting Held in Switzerland Today

LAUSANNE, Switzerland, February 20. FINA and the swimsuit manufacturers came together today in a Speedsuit Summit in Lausanne, Switzerland as the various entities within the conversation came to an agreement on various speedsuit restrictions.

The full press release is found below, but it looks like the FINA Bureau will have a fairly strong set of amendments to consider when it meets in Dubai, United Arab Emirates next month to make a final call.

The days of wearing multiple suits and doing anything to alter a suit for personal use look to be over. Additionally, some body coverage restrictions have been included that are close to the USA Swimming proposal of neck to knees. While the knees are still in play, the suit cannot go past the ankles. Also, rules on material thickness and buoyancy testing have been quantified.

Here is the full press release:

Lausanne (SUI), February 20, 2009 – FINA, represented by its Executive and Technical Swimming Commission, Legal, Coaches and Athletes Commissions' representatives, held today a meeting in Lausanne (SUI) 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 contributions discussed at the meeting, the FINA Bureau at its meeting on March 12-14, 2009 in Dubai (UAE) will consider amendments which include:
• DESIGN: The swimsuit shall not cover the neck and shall not extend past the shoulders nor past the ankles;
o The material used shall have a maximum thickness of 1mm;
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: The swimmer can only wear one swimsuit at a time;
• CONTROL: FINA will establish its own independent control/testing programme. Scientific testing will be conducted by a team led by Prof. Jan-Anders Manson, from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (EPFL) and Laboratory of Polymer and Composite Technology;
• APPROVAL: Swimwear manufacturers will be able to make submissions for approval of swimsuits until March 31, 2009.

In a further step, rules applicable from January 1, 2010 will also be examined by the Bureau.

One of the main aspects to be considered 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.

"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", considered FINA President Mustapha Larfaoui.