Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Eamon Sullivan Calls for a ban on all Chloroprene suits - Especially the ones that compete with his 'Speedo LZR'

In my opinion he is calling out the blueseventy Nero in a backhanded way. It's like all these athletes Craig Lord writes about who oppose Chloroprene were seemingly handed a script to recite like an actor in a 30-second commercial. They never mention the name blueseventy but they mention the material it is made of.

Well, since blueseventy is down with the USMS, Sullivan's words are "fightin' words, pardner!"

I think it has become demonstrable by reading Swim News articles that Mr. Lord enthusiastically deplores Chloroprene suits. Especially the ones that are equal or perhaps faster than the Speedo LZR or Arena's offering.

"... Sullivan said that suits and suit practices that had unfolded over the course of 2008 had "to be stopped". He added: “I’m happy with what I’ve done. The suit (Speedo’s LZR Racer) was ratified by FINA and I wasn’t wearing two or three suits, just the one. What I wore was allowed at the time I broke those records. There obviously is some advantage and there obviously is more advantage if you wear two or three suits, which a lot of people have been doing lately, and I think it’s pretty ridiculous. ..."


I think they have a saying for that called, "throwing the baby out with the bath water!" Calling for a suit ban on a suit that underwent the same FINA approval process that his Speedo LZR did is both unfair and absurd.

For Sullivan to speak negatively about Speedo's rival is suspicious to me. I find his take summarily prejudiced and I suspect that his prejudice is due to lots of Speedo money given to him so he will wear their suit.

How about mandating individuals simply wear one suit only when competing?


Glenn said...

As strange as it sounds, 1-suit for all!!! It's happened in other sports... kinda.

As a fan of Formula 1, tires are incredibly important, and the past battles of Michelin and Bridgestone, and the advancement of their competing technology went to the point in which it was making the cars SO fast, the drivers faced greater and greater risk. This was the word that came down from F1 heads. So, they decided that only one would remain, and they would slow the progress to make sure safety was of the utmost concern.

Here's a link to an old article about it:

While this all sounds good... I always have a bad taste in my mouth for governing bodies... and always take the reasonings with a grain of salt. After all, one of the highest men in F1, is featured in THIS post:

So... it's kinda hard to believe most of these guys when they talk. I guess what I'm ultimately saying here is that if it can happen in one of the most popular and richest sports on the planet... it could certainly happen in swimming.

After all... who really knows that the top officials in our sport do in their off hours anyway. ;)

Tony Austin said...

I actually don't like the idea of a single suit in competition. Then you end up like the NBA whereas you have Nike as the "house brand."

Then there is no reason for others to develop shoes.

As for Formula 1, those cars have become spaceships at this point and the rules were instituted, as you note, due to the technology becoming unsafe for human consumption.

As for Speedsuits, we do not have a pro-league like the NBA or F1. If we mandated one suit for the Olympics, there would be no more money for swimmer sponsirship. :-(

Tony Austin said...

ooops, thank you for the links though. :-)

Steve said...

Here's the original article: http://www.thewest.com.au/default.aspx?MenuID=4&ContentID=117663

Sullivan is commenting solely on those who are wearing multiple suits to achieve increased buoyancy. He makes no comment about banning suits of any kind. The quote "there are not people coming in and making ridiculous suits, basically wetsuits" does not appear in the original article, and doesn't appear anywhere else on the Internet other than swimnews.com. I'd be interested to know where Craig Lord found the quote.

Tony Austin said...

Whoa, Steve! That's huge. I will make a post about this tomorrow. I just got in from work.

Steve said...

Found the articles that the quote must have come from. Quote had been slightly paraphrased, so I didn't pick it up on Google. Huge mistake by me there, should've tried searching for just parts of the quote.



"... we need some laws in terms of what type of materials are being used in the suits so everyone is on a even playing field and there are not people coming in and making ridiculous suits."

"The LZR has been a big step forward but from there other suit manufacturers have taken it a bit too far and have used materials that have floated a lot - basically wetsuits. There are suits that apparently hold two kilos before they sink and other manufacturers have started making suits completely out of latex. FINA needs to lay down the law."

Anonymous said...

this doesnt really have to do with suits, but more with buoyancy...

wouldnt it be cool if meets were held in pools with water that is super saturated with salt? kinda like the dead sea.

i wonder what kind of times we could expect? it might make swimming easier/faster, but could you imagine what the underwater portion of the race would be like?!? im sure athletes like phelps would have a much harder time winning without his amazing turns and underwaters.

maly said...

yesterday , alain bernard swam his first long course meet of the year. funny fact ,in the 50 free, he swam his prelim in a brief in a time of 23.15 , he still finish first . in the the final , he put on his new sponsor suit arena and won the A final in a time of 21.91 his ten personal best.

Tony Austin said...


If you were the commissioner of a professional swim league say like the PGA or the Volleyball league, would you allow speedsuits or would you go old school?

I suspect the answer lies in what the public wants. In baseball they lowered the pitchers mound, and made tweaks to the game to allow it to be more exciting.

Beach Volleyball has captured what people want to see and people want to see the feeling of summer, bright colors, and a fast paced game.

Now, you as the Pro Commissioner of our imaginary Pro League have witnessed that the faster swimming gets, the more ratings it produces.

The male audience does not like looking at men in briefs, and the female audience wants performance and modesty rather than "cheesecake." (I am guessing here about the female point of view so forgive me if I am off but in my hypothetical let's go with it.) Hence, you go with what the market wants and the market wants speedsuits, the advertisers want them too and so does your bank account.

I think speedsuits have been good and I suspect Masters will demand them and so will a pro league if it is ever instituted.

Tony Austin said...

Maly, that is awesome about Bernard. How intimidating to the competition to wear a brief and still do well.

Anonymous said...

if we go old school, why doest everyone say we should go to the "70s speedo?" why not the same suits swimmers like Weissmuller used during the 1920s? i think this is because many of the people who are now making the decisions on whether or not to allow these new speedsuits were competitive during the time when EVERYONE wore the speedo style suit. these individuals also probably feel that it isnt fair that they didnt get to use these special suits during their "prime years" and if they couldn't then, nobody should NOW!

maybe, instead of banning suits, we should apply correction factors to world records, or *speed suit. this could reward swimmers who dont wear speed suits?

if i were to win a race, set a personal best time, break a world record, etc and then someone were to say "you only won because of your speed suit," i would feel insulted! especially after puting in so much time and effort into a sport i love!

i have a hard time understanding the debate over these suits. the sport needs to progress! why does everyone want to stick 1970s standards?

i understand that these suits might increase speed, but they dont perform miracles. only the athlete can win the race- not the suit.