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FINA bans record-making bodysuits

RECORD-SETTING bodysuits were banned by FINA yesterday, with swimming's governing body taking a major step to limit technology in the pool.

FINA has come under criticism for its failure to regulate the rapid advances in swimsuit technology that has led to 108 world records last year and nearly 30 so far this year. Some suits are suspected of creating "air trapping" effects that artificially enhance speed.

A US proposal to limit the amount of swimsuit coverage -- between the waist and knees for males, not beyond the shoulders or below the knees for females -- was overwhelmingly passed by the FINA congress, meeting in Rome during the world championships.

The new rule also says suits shall only be made from "textiles," but that term has yet to be defined.

"The most important thing is that it's textile only," Mark Schubert, head coach and general manager of the US national team, said.

The new rules won't take effect at the Rome championships, where dozens of world records could be set in suits made from materials such as polyurethane.


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