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Top Swede questions rules over swimsuits

SWEDISH swimmer Therese Alshammar has claimed the regulations that resulted in her being stripped of a world record time at the Australian championships were bordering on sexist.

Alshammar, 50-meter butterfly world champion, went under her own record during a heat at the trials on Tuesday, but was later disqualified when technical delegates discovered she had worn two swimsuits during the race.

National and international governing bodies recently unveiled rules banning swimmers from wearing more than one swimsuit in races, aiming to stop competitors gaining any advantage in buoyancy by using multiple layers of the latest hi-tech swimwear.

Alshammar raised the question of so-called modesty rules set by Swimming Australia, which allowed male and female swimmers to wear briefs under the lower part of body suits but not the top.

"I thought a modesty suit would be a modesty suit," Alshammar told Australia's Ten TV network news on Wednesday, explaining why she wore a conventional one-piece women's swimsuit under her racing suit. "I would almost claim that's a bit sexist saying that the men can cover their private parts up with briefs and women can only also wear briefs.

But FINA Executive Director Cornel Marculescu said there was no such modesty provision in the world governing body's rules. "That means that nothing must be worn underneath," Marculescu said. "One suit only. That's it."


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