July 31, 2009

Swimming group to ban polyurethane suits

The Switzerland-based international governing body for the professional swimming world, FINA, says it will ban polyurethane suits starting Jan. 1.

Under the new ban, all swimmers will be required to wear swimming suits made out of either textiles or woven materials, The New York Times said Friday.

The ban will also require female swimmers to limit their suit to covering the area between their shoulders and their kneecaps. Male swimmers will be asked to restrict their suits to the area between their waists and their kneecaps.

The announcement of a Jan. 1 implementation date by the governing group comes after FINA officials said Tuesday the ban may not be implemented until next spring.

That announcement drew immediate criticism from U.S. swimming coach Bob Bowman, who coaches swimming star Michael Phelps.

Well then, they can probably expect Michael not to swim until they've implemented it, Bowman said regarding the initial spring date for the ban. I'm done with it. It has to be implemented immediately. The sport is in shambles right now and they better do something or they're going to lose their guy who fills these seats.