New Suit Shakes Up Swim World

Some complain that high-tech Speedo gives unfair edge
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 28, 2008 12:08 PM CDT

(Newser) – Swimmers in the Speedo LZR Racer swimsuit have been smashing records since it made its debut six weeks ago, and some athletes are beginning to grumble that the high-tech swimming gear gives wearers an unfair advantage, the Los Angeles Times reports. Of the 14 world records to have fallen in the last month or so, 13 were broken by swimmers wearing the super-slick, ultra-form-fitting suit—designed with help from NASA.

More records are expected go under during trials for the Olympics. Critics say that the LZR, which reduces drag, is rendering records meaningless and changing the focus of the sport from talent to equipment. Other charge that the $550 price tag for the "world's fastest swimsuit" is creating an uneven playing field. Speedo backers dismiss the grumbling, noting that the governing body of swimming competition approved development of the suit.