Fri, March 13, 2009
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Phelps swimsuit in ban discussion

2009-03-13 03:46:01 GMT2009-03-13 11:46:01 (Beijing Time)  Reuters

This is the swimsuit which has revolutionised a sport.

Called LZR, the suit is made of advanced materials.

Maker Speedo claims athletes can improve their race times by two percent.

And in 2008 its wearers set more than a hundred records.

But in Dubai swimming's governing body FINA is meeting to discuss whether the suits -and others- offer athletes an unfair advantage.

SOUNDBITE: FINA Executive Director Cornel Marculescu saying (English):

"We are going to conduct scientific tests on the swimsuits and everything that's going to be there is going to be scientifically justified and that is going to be the direction of giving better possible conditions for the swimmers who take part in the event."

The LZR was developed with the hel14:06:58p of NASA, and took American swimmer Michael Phelps to eight gold medals at the Beijing Olympics.

Speedo say it can give swimmers faster times by producing less drag and reducing skin vibration.

But critics say it should never have been approved.

If the FINA meeting agrees, stricter rules on its use could be introduced.

Andrew Potter, Reuters

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