'Shark' swimsuit leaves question marks over true form

Dual Olympic gold medalist Kieren Perkins says debate over the legality of neck-to-ankle swimsuits will taint any records set before strict guidelines are imposed to govern the use of the controversial bodysuits.

Perkins set the 1,500 metres freestyle world record at 14 minutes, 41.66 seconds in 1994 but his long-standing record is under threat from Grant Hackett, his compatriot and current world champion at the distance, who is an advocate of the Fastskin bodysuits.

"As the way the issue stands, people are probably right in wondering whether or not breaking records in the suits will leave a little bit of a bad taste in people's mouths," he said..

Susie O'Neill, Australia's leading female swimmer, has also expressed doubts about the validity of records set by swimmers using bodysuits.

The 1996 Atlanta Olympic gold medalist has said she was concerned that if she breaks swimming's oldest world record wearing a bodysuit, it could diminish her achievement.

O'Neill has spent years trying to eclipse American Mary T. Meagher's 200-meter butterfly world mark of 2 minutes, 5.96 seconds, set in 1981, and has been just 0.57 seconds away from it - closer than any other swimmer.

"I've been training really well. If I stand up and break the world record, everybody's going to think it's the suit," she said.

Perkins said a failure by the Court of Arbitration for Sport to clarify the legality of the bodysuits was certain to spark protests at the May 13-20 Australian Olympic selection trials.

He supported the Australian Olympic Committee's bid to have the issue determined by the CAS before the trials in order to avoid legal challenges from swimmers who wore regular swimsuits but were edged out of the team by swimmers using bodysuits.

CAS arbitrator Richard McLaren returned an advisory opinion Monday backing the decision of FINA, the international swimming federation, to accept advice from its FINA bureau and sanction the bodysuits in October last year.

The AOC says the bodysuits contain performance-enhancing technology and could be categorized as a device, not as a swimming costume. FINA rules prohibit any device which aids a swimmer's speed, buoyancy or endurance during competition.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Business Development Manager / Sales - OTE £45,000

£35000 - £45000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company is a solutions / s...

Recruitment Genius: Sales Executive - OTE £45,000

£18000 - £45000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Sales Executive is required t...

Recruitment Genius: Test Development Engineer

£35000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Are you inspired to bring new a...

Recruitment Genius: Trainee Motor Engineer

£14000 - £18000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...

Day In a Page

Sepp Blatter resignation: The beginning of Fifa's long road to reform?

Does Blatter's departure mean Fifa will automatically clean up its act?

Don't bet on it, says Tom Peck
Charles Kennedy: The baby of the House who grew into a Lib Dem giant

The baby of the House who grew into a Lib Dem giant

Charles Kennedy was consistently a man of the centre-left, dedicated to social justice, but was also a champion of liberty and an opponent of the nanny-state, says Baroness Williams
Syria civil war: The harrowing testament of a five-year-old victim of this endless conflict

The harrowing testament of a five-year-old victim of Syria's endless civil war

Sahar Qanbar lost her mother and brother as civilians and government soldiers fought side by side after being surrounded by brutal Islamist fighters. Robert Fisk visited her
The future of songwriting: How streaming is changing everything we know about making music

The future of songwriting

How streaming is changing everything we know about making music
William Shemin and Henry Johnson: Jewish and black soldiers receive World War I Medal of Honor amid claims of discrimination

Recognition at long last

Jewish and black soldiers who fought in WWI finally receive medals after claims of discrimination
Beating obesity: The new pacemaker which helps over-eaters

Beating obesity

The new pacemaker which helps over-eaters
9 best women's festival waterproofs

Ready for rain: 9 best women's festival waterproofs

These are the macs to keep your denim dry and your hair frizz-free(ish)
Cycling World Hour Record: Nervous Sir Bradley Wiggins ready for pain as he prepares to go distance

Wiggins worried

Nervous Sir Bradley ready for pain as he prepares to attempt cycling's World Hour Record
Liverpool close in on Milner signing

Liverpool close in on Milner signing

Reds baulk at Christian Benteke £32.5m release clause
On your feet! Spending at least two hours a day standing reduces the risk of heart attacks, cancer and diabetes, according to new research

On your feet!

Spending half the day standing 'reduces risk of heart attacks and cancer'
With scores of surgeries closing, what hope is there for the David Cameron's promise of 5,000 more GPs and a 24/7 NHS?

The big NHS question

Why are there so few new GPs when so many want to study medicine?
Big knickers are back: Thongs ain't what they used to be

Thongs ain't what they used to be

Big knickers are back
Thurston Moore interview

Thurston Moore interview

On living in London, Sonic Youth and musical memoirs
In full bloom

In full bloom

Floral print womenswear
From leading man to Elephant Man, Bradley Cooper is terrific

From leading man to Elephant Man

Bradley Cooper is terrific