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FINA clarifies swim suit regulations

March 6, 2009

International swimming body FINA has released a statement clarifying swim suit regulations.

The statement follows a recent meeting in Lausanne between FINA's Executive and Technical Swimming Commission; legal, coaching and athletes commissions' representatives; and 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 upcoming FINA Bureau in Dubai (meeting from 12th to 14th March) will consider amendments which include:

Design: The swimsuit shall not cover the neck and shall not extend past the shoulders nor past the ankles;

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

Buoynacy: 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 program. 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 31st March 2009.

In a further step, rules applicable from January, 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.

As FINA President Mustapha Larfaoui explained, "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."


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