Thursday, May 15, 2008

LA TIMES: 'TYR' sues 'Speedo' and 'USA Swimming', Coach Mark Schubert and Erik Vendt

UPDATE: Here is the legal brief that TYR filed: [Link]

Thank you so much to the reader who sent it!

I am going to try and get the brief and post it. I am no lawyer but I think TYR has a case. A huge one and USA Swimming will be forced to capitulate or face the consequences of their "for profit" ventures presented to the public at large. Most notably that USA Swimming is not allowed to profit from the subject of their non-profit status and yet they are doing just that.

As for Mark Shubert who is coach of the USA Team - This snippet to me illustrates an ethically severe conflict of interest on Shubert's part if this allegation is true. Especially note the part in bold. Here is a snippet: "... before the LZR debuted, the court papers said. His enthusiasm extended to what was called a mandatory team meeting at the Short Course World Championships in Manchester, England in April, telling swimmers that they would "have a two percent advantage if they wore the Speedo LZR technology," according to the lawsuit.

"Schubert also arranged to have a fitting session during the mandatory team meeting where athletes were instructed on how to fit the Speedo LZR suit and position the LZR suit to the body," the complaint said. "TYR-sponsored athletes in attendance expressed discomfort at Schubert's unsolicited comments."

Speedo has long been linked to USA Swimming, in a commercial sense, and in court papers TYR maintains that Schubert "is a paid spokesman for Speedo. ..."

( Read as a PAID spokesperson for Speedo being PAID to tell the American team in Manchester, England during a mandatory meeting that the product he is being PAID to represent is 2% better than any other suit and that they should wear it.)

As for USA Swimming: Here are three reasons why they may be acting in economic interests rather than in the interests of producing good swimmers:

1) Wasserman Media Group "Marketing deal"
2) Speedo endorsement deal - Speedo Tip of the Week
3) Spanking Floswimming for actually promoting swimming.

As for Erik Vendt: If you promise to wear a suit in exchange for a salary; you wear it. Embarrassing your sponsor not only tarnishes their name, but makes you a potentially fatal brand investment down the line. Also, there is that breech of contract thingy!

Here is a link to Lisa Dillman's article at the L.A. Times: [Link]

Photo above came from non-governmental body, non-profit, USA

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