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July 30, 2009

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Home » Sports » Swimming

Bowman fumes over suits

AMERICAN Michael Phelps could scratch some World Cup meets because of FINA's months-long process to resolve the chaos over swimsuits, his coach Bob Bowman said yesterday.

Phelps, winner of a record eight Olympic gold medals last year, might skip meets in Stockholm and Berlin because of the swimsuits issue.

"We were thinking about some World Cups in November," Bowman said. When asked if Phelps would go to those, he added: "He might not. Maybe not. We have to see what is happening," amplifying comments late on Tuesday that the swimmer could stay out of international competition.

FINA has agreed to ban performance-enhancing polyurethane suits next year after a glut of world records but said the new rules may not come into effect until April or May.

Bowman said: "I'd like to know it's going to happen before the middle of next year because then we wait until April and then they say, 'No, it's really going to be August'."

On Tuesday, Bowman said, "This move to do it in April is unacceptable. It needs to happen January 1 if not next Monday."

All-polyurethane suit

Phelps was beaten in the 200-meter freestyle final by Germany's Peter Biedermann, who broke Phelps' world record wearing an all-polyurethane suit.

"We've lost all the history of the sport," Bowman said. "Does a 10-year-old boy in Baltimore want to break Paul Biedermann's record? Is that going to make him join swimming?

"It took Michael from 2003 to 2008 to go from 1:46 to 1:42.9 and this guy's done it in 11 months. That's an amazing training program. I would love to know how that works."

Biedermann clocked 1 minute, 42.00 seconds, which knocked off Phelps' world mark of 1:42.96 from the Beijing Olympics. It was Phelps' first loss at a worlds or Olympics since the 2005 worlds in Montreal.

Asked about staying out of future competitions, Phelps said he would abide by FINA's rules but Bowman had already made the decisions.

The new suits "have changed the sport completely. Now, it's not swimming. Now, the headlines are about who's wearing what suit," he said.

"FINA are going to make the decision, I can't make it for them. I'm going to finish the meet here and get ready for next year and for the London Olympic Games in 2012."


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