USA Swimming votes to ban high-tech suits

CHICAGO (AP) - USA Swimming voted to ban high-tech swim suits three months before the sport's world governing body is expected to do the same.

More than 400 delegates representing swim clubs from all 50 states voted overwhelmingly Saturday for early implementation of a ban on the suits at USA Swimming's annual convention in Chicago.

The ban goes into effect Oct. 1 and covers all suits worn in USA Swimming-sanctioned meets.

Beginning next month, suits must be made from natural or synthetic materials. Men's suits cannot extend above the navel nor below the knees. Women's suits cannot cover the neck, extend past the shoulder or below the knee.

Suits currently worn aid buoyancy, a trend that began with the Speedo LZR Racer and has continued with attire produced by companies like Arena and Jaked, which have suits that are 100 percent polyurethane.

In January, FINA is expected to implement the same rule for international competition.

"Our membership has sent a clear message that it wanted this action taken sooner rather than later," USA Swimming executive director Chuck Wielgus said. "We hope that this action will put the emphasis back where it belongs - on our athletes, their training and hard work."

The NCAA is placing restrictions on high-tech suits in college competition similar to USA Swimming's ban. The National Federation of State High School Associations has already banned such suits in competition.


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