Barcodes Will ID Illegal Suits at Championships

Swimming aims to weed out banned attire
By Matt Cantor,  Newser User
Posted Jun 1, 2009 2:55 PM CDT
American Olympic medalists Amanda Beard, Natalie Coughlin, and Michael Phelps pose with in high technology Speedo "LZR Racer" swimsuits in this Feb. 12, 2008 file photo.   (AP Photo/Kathy Willens)
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(Newser) – Swimmers at this year’s world championships will be subjected to a barcode test to ensure their suits are legal, the Times of London reports. Suits’ buoyancy will be checked before the event, with each outfit assigned a code. At race time, the suits will be scanned; if they don’t match up to the given code, swimmers will have 20 minutes to change.

The plan may cost hundreds of thousands of dollars to implement. Swimming officials are trying to eliminate certain suits from competition for providing an unnatural advantage, speeding swimmers by optimizing buoyancy. “We saw 60 or more national records fall in several countries inside six weeks this year. We’re seeing things that would have taken 10 years to achieve in the past,” said a records tracker.