Phelps to Competition: Lose the Speed Suits

Swimmer challenges others to switch before ban takes effect
By Nick McMaster,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 15, 2009 5:55 PM CDT
Olympic Gold medalist Michael Phelps signs autographs on behalf of PureSport, a sports drink, at GNC's new retail experience in Pittsburgh, PA on Saturday, September 16, 2009.   (Jim Sulley/newscast)
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(Newser) – Michael Phelps challenged his competitors at the upcoming FINA/Arena World Cup meets to race without the full-body technical suits recently banned by swimming authorities for providing an unfair advantage in speed. The ban doesn’t go into effect until January, but Phelps said he was “getting ready for where the sport is going,” by switching early to a waist-to-knee “jammer.”

"It's a little statement," Phelps said. Though he didn’t name names, he likely had Paul Biedermann in mind. The German swimmer beat Phelps in the 200-meters in July while wearing a high-tech suit. And if Biedermann shows up in November wearing the same thing? "If he destroys me, he's going to destroy me,” Phelps tells the Washington Post. “I'm focused on what I have to do."