20 Sep 2009

US swimming body bans hi tech suits

6:01 pm on 20 September 2009

The body governing competitive swimming in the United States has voted overwhelmingly to institute an almost immediate ban on high-tech swimsuits, which can give wearers an unfair advantage by increasing buoyancy.

The BBC reports the move comes three months ahead of what's expected to be a similar ruling by the world governing body, Fina.

Twenty-nine world records were set in the first five days of this year's Fina World Championships in Rome.

Only two of the current world records, both men's and women's, were set before the introduction of polyurethane suits in 2008.

Fina, the sports regulatory body, had already decided to ban the suits, now USA Swimming has done the same.

In a statement it said, as an organisation, "we have been working with FINA and other swimming nations to find a solution that will ensure a fair and even playing field for all swimmers".

The American ban starts next month and Fina's is expected in January, but the existing world records will stand.