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Phelps Welcomes Cool Move To Textile

Jul 31, 2009  - Craig Lord

Duel in Manchester this side of Christmas to ban the poly bodysuit before ruling kicks in.

Bob Bowman and Michael Phelps joined the chorus of those who welcomed FINA's confirmation that January 1, 2010 - and no later - will mark the return to textile-only suits in 2010. "It's going to be cool come Jan. 1 to be able to have all of us pretty much wearing the same suit. All of this is going to be finished and then we're going to be able to talk about swimming again, not suits."

Confirmation came through earlier today with a statement (attached to this article), followed by these words from FINA executive director Cornel Marculescu: "Now, without a doubt, the rules are applying Jan. 1, 2010,"  said Friday. "The manufacturers are ready and can begin (suit) submissions Nov. 1 or before."

"I'm just thrilled that they did it, because it's the right thing to do," Bowman said. "We know they want to do the right thing for the sport, they just need to do it, so I'm glad to hear it and so is Michael. We'll probably keep our competition schedule. There will be some little questions about what suit is he going to wear until the end of the year, but they're minor. In training I don't care."

The new rule requires suits to be approved one year before Olympics or world championships, and available commercially six months in advance. 

 Australia, the US, Britain, France and Russia are among nations that may impose the new rules this side of Christmas, at least in pary. Polyurethane bodysuits will be banned for a Duel in the Pool competition in Manchester, England, in December, when the US faces a combined force of France, Russia and Britain in the city that launched the LZR to the world in March 2008, prompting this from a thoughtful day that will forever remain for me as the day that suit wars began.

LEN may wish to consider the same move at the European s/c championships this winter.

"We met after prelims this morning and agreed to adopt the rules for that meet," USA Swimming executive director Chuck Wielgus said. "Whether or not USA Swimming adopts those rules any sooner is something we'll talk about when we get home."