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ande
July 29th, 2009, 09:38 AM
WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS NOTEBOOK
FINA Says Suit Ban Could Be Delayed (http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/07/28/AR2009072802805.html)

By Amy Shipley
Washington Post Staff Writer
Wednesday, July 29, 2009

ROME, July 28 -- The world swimming governing body, FINA, hedged again.

FINA Executive Director Cornel Marculescu said the organization's promised ban on long-length swimsuits beginning in January of next year might not be implemented until April or May.

Marculescu also said Tuesday during a news conference at the swimming world championships that a scientific committee -- which has not yet been appointed -- would determine the definition of "textile" and set standards for thickness, buoyancy and permeability for new suits by Sept. 30.

"The rules will be applied in 2010," Marculescu said. "That can be April or May depending on our negotiations and understanding of manufacturers of the time they need. But we do want to do it as soon as possible."

The time lag means swimmers will be allowed to compete in the coming months in the controversial high-tech suits that have caused an outcry throughout the sport and contributed to the 15 world records set here during the first three days of competition.

Bob Bowman, Michael Phelps's coach, reacted with outrage at news of FINA's equivocation, saying he would urge Phelps not to compete in major events until the ban is in place.

"That would be my recommendation to him, not to swim internationally," Bowman said. "The mess needs to be stopped right now. It can't go any further."

Phelps said he would abide by Bowman's recommendations for competing.

"Bob chooses the meets I swim in, [based on] what's right for me, what's right for my training," he said. "That's his decision. I have one meet I'm looking forward to, and that's in three years," the Summer Games in London.


Marculescu said FINA's bureau, its highest-ranking officers, approved the decision of FINA's membership to allow only waist-to-knee suits for men and suits for women that don't extend past the neck, shoulder or knees. He also said only textile fabrics would be allowed in constructing the suits.

Jan-Anders Manson of the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology has been appointed to lead FINA's proposed technical committee, which Marculescu said will consist only of materials science experts.

"We need the approval of scientific people," Marculescu said. "What is the best definition to fulfill our requirements."

American Rebecca Soni missed her own world record in the 100 breaststroke by .09 of a second Tuesday night, but she won the gold medal in 1 minute 4.93 seconds. Russian Yuliya Efimova finished second in 1:05.41 and American Kasey Carlson surprised from Lane 1 with her bronze-medal finish in 1:05.75.

"Standing here as a world champion is a great feeling," Soni said. "Having Kasey on the podium with me is even better."

Record Set In Older Suit

Britain's Gemma Spofforth set a world record in the 100 backstroke final with her finish in 58.12, then celebrated the fact she had competed in Speedo's old-model LZR suit.

"I've said all along, it's not the suit, it's the swimmer," Spofforth said. "I think I've got the mental toughness to do it in whatever I'm wearing."

South Africa's Cameron Van Der Burgh set a world record in the 50 breaststroke in 26.74 seconds; Italian Alessia Filippi won the 1,500 free in 15:44.93 -- failing to take down the world record of Great Falls' Kate Ziegler (15:42.54); Japan's Junya Koga won the men's 100 back final in 52.26; and Italy's Federica Pellegrini set her second world record of the championships in the 200 free semis, finishing in 1:53.67.

Speedo
July 29th, 2009, 09:47 AM
Record Set In Older Suit

Britain's Gemma Spofforth set a world record in the 100 backstroke final with her finish in 58.12, then celebrated the fact she had competed in Speedo's old-model LZR suit.

"I've said all along, it's not the suit, it's the swimmer," Spofforth said. "I think I've got the mental toughness to do it in whatever I'm wearing."
Oh, please. What a freakin' handicap.

pwolf66
July 29th, 2009, 10:13 AM
Maybe so but the LZR is considered '2nd class' compared to the neweer suits.

And what does this indicate that Spofforth broke a WR in a LZR? Perhaps it's not 100% the suit?

knelson
July 29th, 2009, 10:21 AM
I think FINA needs to grow a pair.

pwb
July 29th, 2009, 10:29 AM
FINA Executive Director Cornel Marculescu said the organization's promised ban on long-length swimsuits beginning in January of next year might not be implemented until April or May.

This will never end, thus assuring us Masters and endless supply of forum threads.

Seriously, FINA's backtracking again less than a week after announcing the latest change ... do we really think that they won't flip flop again? These guys are politicians (but not very effective ones), blowing this way and that depending upon who is whispering in their ears. Expect some double speak to come out later where they redefine our ankles as knees, wrists as shoulders and textile as, "any material that Speedo chooses to use it is suits." Maybe they should use some of the hush money from Speedo to hire some better speechwriters and PR folks.

aquaFeisty
July 29th, 2009, 10:34 AM
I think FINA needs to grow a pair.

You are dead on. I mean seriously...

geochuck
July 29th, 2009, 10:44 AM
If they ban suits to the ankle for men and women and suits to the shoulder for men, should we throw them away.

These compression suits will still be great for training for sure. They will become training suits at $500+. Swimmers will be racing in $30 to $100 dollar suits.

The Fortress
July 29th, 2009, 10:54 AM
You are dead on. I mean seriously...

Seriously. Why make an announcement with absolutely no plans to implement it, nothing defined, no strategy, no scientists on board yet, no deadlines or even interim deadlines?? Another huge mess. Forget blaming the cool suits, as has become so customary and tiresome. Blame FINA for acting like a toddler instead of a governing body.

ensignada
July 29th, 2009, 11:31 AM
Grow a pair, indeed.

If FINA were a parent, the kids would be running wild. Geez, it's like playing a made up-game with a kid who keeps changing the rules.

jim clemmons
July 29th, 2009, 12:02 PM
Seriously. Why make an announcement with absolutely no plans to implement it, nothing defined, no strategy, no scientists on board yet, no deadlines or even interim deadlines?? Another huge mess. Forget blaming the cool suits, as has become so customary and tiresome. Blame FINA for acting like a toddler instead of a governing body.

We really don't expect anything less than this, do we. It would be completely out of character based on their consistent inconsistency.

"If it wasn't for inconsistency, they'd have no consistency whatsoever." :cool:

Peter Cruise
July 29th, 2009, 02:50 PM
I do believe that they have hired Jim Thornton to write their press releases...

swimshark
July 29th, 2009, 03:11 PM
I think FINA needs to grow a pair.

I'll 2nd that one!

geochuck
July 29th, 2009, 03:26 PM
I think FINA needs to grow a pair.

And if they did what would they do???

Allow the rubber suits???
Go back to pre 1933 suits???
Men, only suits navel to above the knee???
Eliminate all suits that go to the Ankle???
Allow wet suits to be worn in the pool???

I think we will have a long and drawn out affair.

orca1946
July 29th, 2009, 05:23 PM
Everything is on sale now, so buy 2 of all of them so we will be set for FINA's next wold guess !!!

pwb
July 29th, 2009, 07:09 PM
I do believe that they have hired Jim Thornton to write their press releases...

No way ... if they had, they'd be far more lucid than the brain-addled mush they're putting out now. Maybe we need to insist on drug testing for FINA members ... not PEDs, but MADs (mind-altering).

Midas
July 29th, 2009, 07:28 PM
I think the delay is good. It will give Phelps, et. al. a chance to run out and buy Jakeds and reclaim their WRs before the ban.

Allen Stark
July 29th, 2009, 08:36 PM
I predict numerous meets in Europe and really good USMS attendance at Canadian meets in the spring.
FINA never ceases to amaze me with their inability to plan ahead.

meldyck
July 29th, 2009, 08:40 PM
OK, I admit it, I've been writing the FINA regulations. The only requirement from them is that I don't take my medications for a full two weeks before writing the brief in the matter. They've promised me an unlimited array of high-quality swimwear when this is all settled....

Peter Cruise
July 29th, 2009, 08:44 PM
Now Mel, you don't have much credibility here now that you've vowed to take up racewalking, curling, jai alai whatever it was...

meldyck
July 29th, 2009, 08:47 PM
Now Mel, you don't have much credibility here now that you've vowed to take up racewalking, curling, jai alai whatever it was...

Isn't there some obscure Canadian sport that a washed up old swimmer with no credibility can take up when they pry my suit from my cold, dead fingers?

Peter Cruise
July 29th, 2009, 08:53 PM
Why yes, it is called salmon tickling.

Ripple
July 29th, 2009, 09:09 PM
Isn't there some obscure Canadian sport that a washed up old swimmer with no credibility can take up when they pry my suit from my cold, dead fingers?
Human curling!
YouTube - Human Curling

geochuck
July 29th, 2009, 09:23 PM
There are so many washed up old Canadian swimmers, we could field, (or ice rink) a team.

knelson
July 30th, 2009, 01:14 AM
And if they did what would they do???

At this point I don't care. OK, I reserve the right to bitch at whatever their decision may be, but for Pete's sake make a decision and stick to it!

Dolphin 2
July 30th, 2009, 11:00 AM
Guess the suit makes started shoveling even more $$$ to FINA so it wussied on instating the ban until a later date.

The ban will be delayed until infinity or the suit makers run out of money to throw at the rule makers at FINA -which ever comes first.

Dolphin 2

mattson
July 30th, 2009, 12:06 PM
The whole purpose of Alexander the Great cutting the Gordian Knot was to find a simple solution to a complex problem.

Now FINA is finding a way to make their simple solution (whether or not it is any good) more complicated.

Tim L
July 30th, 2009, 12:57 PM
After seeing the swimming at Worlds I have been shocked and a little annoyed that some swimmers have to break sponsorships to wear the fastest suits. However, I must say that it is exciting.

I think that Speedo and all the other swim suit manufacturers will catch up with Jaked and Arena shortly. Let's just keep the keep it going. Performances will level off in a few years and we will see less world records, but fast swimming is entertaining swimming so let's not go backwards.

Tim

The Fortress
July 30th, 2009, 02:33 PM
After seeing the swimming at Worlds I have been shocked and a little annoyed that some swimmers have to break sponsorships to wear the fastest suits. However, I must say that it is exciting.

I think that Speedo and all the other swim suit manufacturers will catch up with Jaked and Arena shortly. Let's just keep the keep it going. Performances will level off in a few years and we will see less world records, but fast swimming is entertaining swimming so let's not go backwards.

Tim

Is that you, Tim?! I was just wondering cuz that sounded more like me. lol

aquageek
July 30th, 2009, 02:46 PM
Is that you, Tim?! I was just wondering cuz that sounded more like me. lol

Yeah, Tim aka Preach, why the sudden change of heart to the less whiny side?

Tim L
July 30th, 2009, 03:46 PM
Yeah, Tim aka Preach, why the sudden change of heart to the less whiny side?

I think my key board was temporarily hi-jacked.

Actually, I think FINA's latest ruling is way too extreme and probably the worst decision they could make. I think I had said before that I didn't think they would take a step back and that it would be stupid to do so. Once you have something out there available to everyone and people are swimming faster then how do you go backwards (especially all the way to the mid-90s)? I would have been fine with them never allowing tech suits, but once you allow a suit or suit design to be used in major competitions you can't go back. It is no different than going back to not allowing a flip turn on backstroke or not allowing heads to go underwater on breastroke. You just can't do that. I think I have previously nominated FINA as the worst sports governing body on the planet and the latest ruling is the final proof that is needed. FINA should be totally disbanded and they should start over.

Fast international swimming is good entertainment which is good for our sport. There are too many records being set now, but that will all level off and no one will have a reason to whine when Speedo matches Jaked and Arena. I think the suits give more advantage to some swimmers who were not lucky enough to be blessed with the best swimming genes. Maybe that is a good thing and produces parity which has always been good in most sports.

I still won't wear them and I still think they are kind of silly except for elite swimmers, but I am kind of stubborn that way. However, if all the masters swimmers start wearing Jaked equivalents and I can't even come close to competing with the people I expect to be able to swim close to then maybe I will change my mind. So far, I think swimming without a LZR or B70 is not that big of a handicap and something I can live with.

The sport can evolve, but I don't have to.

Tim

thewookiee
July 30th, 2009, 03:53 PM
I think my key board was temporarily hi-jacked.

Actually, I think FINA's latest ruling is way too extreme and probably the worst decision they could make. I think I had said before that I didn't think they would take a step back and that it would be stupid to do so. Once you have something out there available to everyone and people are swimming faster then how do you go backwards (especially all the way to the mid-90s)? I would have been fine with them never allowing tech suits, but once you allow a suit or suit design to be used in major competitions you can't go back. It is no different than going back to not allowing a flip turn on backstroke or not allowing heads to go underwater on breastroke. You just can't do that. I think I have previously nominated FINA as the worst sports governing body on the planet and the latest ruling is the final proof that is needed. FINA should be totally disbanded and they should start over.

Fast international swimming is good entertainment which is good for our sport. There are too many records being set now, but that will all level off and no one will have a reason to whine when Speedo matches Jaked and Arena. I think the suits give more advantage to some swimmers who were not lucky enough to be blessed with the best swimming genes. Maybe that is a good thing and produces parity which has always been good in most sports.

I still won't wear them and I still think they are kind of silly except for elite swimmers, but I am kind of stubborn that way. However, if all the masters swimmers start wearing Jaked equivalents and I can't even come close to competing with the people I expect to be able to swim close to then maybe I will change my mind. So far, I think swimming without a LZR or B70 is not that big of a handicap and something I can live with.

The sport can evolve, but I don't have to.

Tim

Nicely stated.

Tim L
July 30th, 2009, 05:11 PM
Nicely stated.

Thanks. That means a lot coming from someone who thinks he is a hairy Star Wars character.

Tim

jim clemmons
July 30th, 2009, 05:26 PM
Thanks. That means a lot coming from someone who thinks he is a hairy Star Wars character.

Tim

I think that's supposed to be Harry, the Star Wars "character", all right.

Allen Stark
July 30th, 2009, 08:31 PM
I think my key board was temporarily hi-jacked.

Actually, I think FINA's latest ruling is way too extreme and probably the worst decision they could make. I think I had said before that I didn't think they would take a step back and that it would be stupid to do so. Once you have something out there available to everyone and people are swimming faster then how do you go backwards (especially all the way to the mid-90s)? I would have been fine with them never allowing tech suits, but once you allow a suit or suit design to be used in major competitions you can't go back. It is no different than going back to not allowing a flip turn on backstroke or not allowing heads to go underwater on breastroke. You just can't do that. I think I have previously nominated FINA as the worst sports governing body on the planet and the latest ruling is the final proof that is needed. FINA should be totally disbanded and they should start over.

Fast international swimming is good entertainment which is good for our sport. There are too many records being set now, but that will all level off and no one will have a reason to whine when Speedo matches Jaked and Arena. I think the suits give more advantage to some swimmers who were not lucky enough to be blessed with the best swimming genes. Maybe that is a good thing and produces parity which has always been good in most sports.

I still won't wear them and I still think they are kind of silly except for elite swimmers, but I am kind of stubborn that way. However, if all the masters swimmers start wearing Jaked equivalents and I can't even come close to competing with the people I expect to be able to swim close to then maybe I will change my mind. So far, I think swimming without a LZR or B70 is not that big of a handicap and something I can live with.

The sport can evolve, but I don't have to.

Tim

FINA is terrible ,stupid ,and awful,but I am not sure they are in the same league of stupidity and hypocrisy as MLB and NCAA.

The Fortress
July 30th, 2009, 08:33 PM
I'm enjoying the discussion much more since we've shifted somewhat from bashing the suits to bashing FINA.

Allen Stark
July 31st, 2009, 10:53 AM
I'm enjoying the discussion much more since we've shifted somewhat from bashing the suits to bashing FINA.
Forumites may disagree about the suits,but we almost all agree about FINA.