15 Mar 2009

Guidelines for swim suits passed

6:06 pm on 15 March 2009

Swimming's governing body has adopted for new rules that will limit the role of high-tech suits, which helped produce more than 100 world records since their introduction just over a year ago.

The guidelines "revise the requirements for swimsuit approval" and will be in place for the world championships in Rome from July the 17th.

FINA stipulated swimsuits should not cover the neck and will not extend past the shoulders and ankles.

The suits will be limited to a maximum thickness of one millimetre and with a restricted buoyancy effect.

The new regulations ban external aids for the swimmer, such as pain reduction or electro-stimulation.

The suits cannot be customised for individual athletes.

The debate about changing the rules governing swimwear resulted from the overwhelming effect that the introduction of high-tech suits such as Speedo's LZR Racer have had on the sport.

There have been 108 world records since the Speedo suit became available in February 2008.

The suits were designed and tested with help from NASA, and other manufacturers followed with their own high-tech designs.