Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Japanese Swimming Federation may accept Ryosuke Irie's 200-back WR despite FINA objection!

This is perhaps the biggest story of the year: The "speedsuit war" is escalating: The first shot fired was back in the Spring of 2008 when TYR filed an antitrust lawsuit in federal court against USA Swimming, Coach Mark Schubert, and Speedo.

Now the second salvo: The Japanese Swimming Federation may acknowledge Ryosuke Irie world record in the 200-back despite FINA refusal to accept it due to the swimsuit he wore was not FINA approved.

Could the French do the same with Alain Bernard's world record in the 100-free?

From Swimming World: "..."Even if Irie's world record would not be ratified by FINA, the Japanese Federation will not omit it from the Japanese record book," Japanese Swimming Federation Executive Director Masafumi Izumi said. "The position of the Japanese Federation is different from FINA. Although there are discrepancies, and we are in confusion. The Japanese Federation will have to distinguish FINA's standard and our own standard in the ratification process...."


What a mess! This is a "shot across the proverbial bow" of FINA's governing authority. That is to say, if Irie's world record is validated by the Japanese Federation, then his suit is validated as well.

I admit that all of the above is hyperbole but FINA is in trouble and it needs help and guidance.

My suggestion is that all swimsuits that have ever been approved by FINA be placed back on the approved swimsuit list till FINA can produce an engineering standard that is based on quantifiable data rather than theoretical opinions.


Anonymous said...

This is exactly why USA Swimming will/should automatically ratify whatever FINA approves as a "legal" suit. Wouldn't you be pissed if Peirsol/Lochte/Phelps sets a WR in the 200M Back this summer in Rome and it isn't recognized by FINA? I sure would be pissed!

Tony Austin said...

In my opinion; and it is just that, a simple opinion; FINA should ratify all the suits that passed the buoyancy tests, the fabric thickness requirements, and other measurable rules that were agreed upon in Dubai.

To ban a suit or suits that passed all of the above tests because the lead scientist had a hunch rather than something he could be measured or quantified is not fair. It is changing the rules in the middle of a game.

The people responsible for this mess is FINA. The suit qualification process apparently was badly project managed, and these manufacturers adjusted their suits to meet the the requirements as anemic as they were.

FINA should approved all the suits that made the grade and then make tougher rules for the next round if these were not enough.