Textile, trunks set for re-entry

FINA moves to end controversy


Controversy over performance-enhancing polyurethane bodysuits, not regarded as a textile, has overshadowed the Rome World Championships, which start on Sunday.
"The material is to be textile," FINA executive director Cornel Marculescu told a heated and tense news conference. "In general, it is going to be short trunks. But let us finish the rules."

The details of the new rules will be thrashed out after another meeting on July 28, when the exact measurements for men's and women's outfits for 2010 will be ratified.
Full bodysuits will remain for these championships, where they are expected toa cause a raft of world records.

FINA only agreed recently to allow all-polyurethane suits, which critics say trap air and aid performance, but the chastened governing body is now ready to reverse that decision after heavy pressure.

Polyurethane is a polymer which is not regarded as a textile as it is impermeable. Common textiles are formed by weaving together fibres such as cotton and are permeable.
A return to textiles would mean the world records recently broken in polyurethane suits and those expected to be smashed in Rome would be almost impossible to be bettered in traditional costumes in the short term.

All records will stand, however. "There is no way we are going to reconsider the existing world records," Marculescu added. Michael Phelps, winner of eight gold medals at last year's Beijing Olympics, was happy with the proposed new rules. "I like it. I think it is going to be good," he said.

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