22 Apr 2009

Swimsuits should be banned says coach

5:56 pm on 22 April 2009

The coach of swimming's latest world record holder and one of the greatest sprinters of all time has called on the sport's world governing body FINA to ban all swim suits, claiming the sport is now unfair.

Dutchman Jacco Verhaeren, coach of Marleen Veldhuis and the retired triple Olympic champion Pieter van den Hoogenband, says the controversial suits are performance-enhancing devices and should be prohibited.

Independent testing of swimsuits, commissioned by FINA, will be carried out this week which could have major ramifications for suit design in the future.

But Verhaeren says FINA cannot ban just a few of the suits made since the start of 2008 - all suits must be outlawed.

Verhaeren says he has personally tested all the top range swim suits of the past year - Speedo's LZR, Blue Seventy, Jaked, TYR, Arena - and believes each suit provides different results for different strokes.

He says until FINA provides clear guidelines on the subject he, and other coaches, will have to spend as much time searching for the best equipment on the market as they do training athletes.