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Page last updated at 11:40 GMT, Thursday, 19 March 2009

Fina extends swimsuit regulations

Rebecca Adlington at the Beijing Olympics
Rebecca Adlington clinched two golds and a world record in the LZR suit

World swimming governing body Fina has once again moved to limit the impact of the controversial hi-tech swimsuits.

Swimmers will no longer be able to wear anything under their costumes after Therese Alshammar had a world record erased for wearing two swimsuits.

An extra suit can help swimmers compress their body and trap air, which provides greater buoyancy in the pool.

There were 105 world records broken last year, 79 of them by swimmers wearing one suit, the Speedo LZR Racer.

Alshammer, who improved her own record in the 50m butterfly in Sydney, is the first swimmer to lose a world record under the new rules.

The Swede said she believed she was allowed to wear a 'modesty suit' under her skin-tight racing gear.

But Fina executive director Cornel Marculescu said: "Nothing must be worn underneath. One suit only, that's it."


Officials at the Australian Swimming Championships had said women were allowed to wear bikini bottoms for modesty purposes at the event but not a full suit and any world records set would not stand if they used them.

Following a recent three-day meeting in Dubai, Fina also stipulated swimsuits should not cover the neck and must not extend past the shoulders and ankles.

The changes, which will be in place for July's World Championships, also limit the thickness and buoyancy of the suits.

"Fina wishes to recall the main and core principle is that swimming is a sport essentially based on the physical performance of the athlete," read a statement from swimming's world governing body.

Report - Hi-tech swimsuits polarise opinion

The first swimsuit to combine stitch-free, ultrasonically welded seams, water-resistant fabric and strategically placed polyurethane panels (designed by Nasa), the LZR took the swimming world by storm last year.

At the Olympics in Beijing, LZR swimmers, most notably American Michael Phelps, won 94% of the golds on offer and broke 23 of the 25 records set in the Cube.

But opponents of the hi-tech suits argue the buoyancy they create amounts to "technological doping".

Fina also intends to limit the use of non-permeable materials in the suits.

Suits to be used from 1 January 2010 will have to be put in for approval by 1 November.

And future submissions will have to be made 12 months in advance of a World Championship or an Olympic Games, with the approved models to be available at least six months prior to the events.

Fina will also publish a list of approved models and these will be used in competitions starting 1 January 2010.

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see also
Jackson claims new world record
16 Mar 09 |  Olympics
Cash boost for British swimming
12 Mar 09 |  Olympics
Goodhew demands hi-tech suit ban
20 Feb 09 |  Olympics
Japan lifts Olympics swimsuit ban
10 Jun 08 |  Asia-Pacific
Swimming's fastest year
15 Apr 08 |  Swimming
Speedo suit ruled legal by Fina
12 Apr 08 |  Swimming
US coach says no record is safe
10 Apr 08 |  Swimming
Records 'not down to swimsuits'
27 Mar 08 |  Swimming
Swimsuit technology under review
25 Mar 08 |  Swimming

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