/ May 21, 2008

Going for Gold: The Battle Over Swimsuits

It looks as if the competition in Olympic Swimming will not be remaining in the water this year. Just a few months before the kickoff of the Summer 2008 Olympic games, swimsuit manufacturers including TYR, Nike, Arena, Diane and Speedo are fighting for the top spot with swimmers. Although Speedo has been first choice to most swimmers in the past, the review body for professional water sports, FINA, is opening the opportunity for other companies to provide swim wear for the fast approaching Olympic Games.

TYR is filing suit against both Speedo and USA Swimming under allegations of anti-competitive practices. While this case will not be settled until long after the Games have come to a close, FINA will provide a temporary decision by determining which suits will be acceptable for use during the Games. Not only is this situation raising questions over acceptable business practices, but also about the technology incorporated in the new Speedo LZR Racer suits. Since the introduction of the suit late this winter, some 37 world records have been broken in meets by athletes donning them. While FINA stands by the legality of the suit, many argue that wearing a suit of its kind is comparable to using performance enhancement drugs.

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