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Pajama Suit Controversy

Aug 18, 1999

Call them "long johns" or "pajama suits", the new full body suits that were originally created by Adidas and now also being marketed by Speedo are causing a controversy.

Two weeks ago it was the controversy created by Paul Palmer wearing the Adidas made suit while competing as a member of the British team which is sponsored by Speedo while competing at the European Champs in Istanbul. Now the controversy has shifted to Australia where Head Coach Don Talbot is telling the top Aussie swimmers not to wear the suits because he thinks that eventually they will reject the suit and reverse any records that made be made while wearing them.

FINA had announced 2 weeks ago that they were looking into the suits and the technical committee has apparently said they have no problem with the suits although we are still waiting for a FINA press release to that affect.

The Adidas suit for example is made of a "Telfon-Lycra fabric that is supposed to reduce drag and compress the body so that the muscles do not move unneccessarily, thus saving energy."

So the question becomes 'Do the suits give swimmers wearing them an unfair advantage?'. Are the companies holding back on allowing the suits to market because they want to avoid controversy or do they just want select swimmers to wear the suits, giving them an advantage.
And then you have to ask yourself 'Do I look good wearing pajamas?'

Nikki Dryden has an article about the suits in the July issue of our magazine which covers the European Champs. That issue is in the mail and on its way to subscribers.