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A vida de um agente multifacetado

Speedo LZR swimsuit

Many have spoken against the use of this particular swimsuit. It gives athletes an advantage, it’s true, but isn’t it evolution? It’s a record breaking swimsuit indeed, but it’s meant for it.

But if this suit gives an advantage then it’s cheating.

Herein lies and interesting question. Are all the athletes able to use the Nasa + Speedo created, Portuguese made (at Petratex, Paços de Ferreira), LZR swimsuit?
The answer is simple.

Some swimmers have individual contracts with brands like Arena, Nike et al and some of the federations also have contracts, like Japan with local brands as Mizuno.

However, due to the improvement provided by the LZR some contracts have been changed, giving the athletes the opportunity to choose the swimsuit of their preference.
In that, athletes like Japan’s Kitajima will be using the high tech suit, but others won’t, like France’s Manaudou (who won three medals in the 2004 Athens Games) who is still going to use Arena.
In fact all athletes who wish to use this suit will be provided with it.

Quoting an article at http://swimming.teamusa.org/news/article/3182:

“FINA approved the suits in agreement with the manufacturers and that’s the situation,” FINA executive director Cornel Marculescu told The Associated Press.

“The only thing we can say is that we have followed the rules and done everything we can do. Sometimes controversy helps get more publicity for a sport. But it’s still the athletes that have to do the swimming.”

Marculescu said all athletes at the games will have access to any suit they want.

“All the major manufacturers will have special rooms set up at the pool where they can keep their equipment,” Marculescu said. “They will be available to all of the athletes free of charge.”

In Portugal few swimmers have used this suit. Diana Gomes was given one from some abroad relatives, Sara Oliveira received one from Speedo at Manchester after pressure from the Portuguese and US federations, since they wouldn’t give her one despite the fact that she has a contract with them.
Sara broke the national record without the suit and, in the next day, she did it again with the LZR.
However, the Portuguese athelete said that the suit wasn’t that good and it gave her a lot more confidence and some speed.
(I believe that she just didn’t train with it before, hence the felt lack of speed)

In my humble opinion, as a person, i believe that the improvement of suits is not “cheating” since it still depends on the swimmer. A bad swimmer won’t improve just by using a new high tech suit. The other brands have to adapt their suits with new technology.
We see this all the time in football (in shoes like the Adidas Predator, the Nike Total90 and Mercurial Vapor), tennis (with the lightweight carbon fiber rackets and new strings), athletics (the high tech running shoes) and no one points a finger to it.

As a swimming referee, i can only say that if it’s allowed by FINA, then it’s legal.

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