Monday, June 22, 2009

Why FINA changed it's mind regarding speedsuits!

Suit makers like Diana, Jaked, blueseventy, TYR and many others were rattled both ethically and financially by FINA's "approved suit list." None of the above manufacturers violated any stated rule within the context of the "FINA Dubai charter" yet each manufacturer was denied access to the market and consequently had their products labeled as "tech-dope" and other nasty names by "respected" journalists which has hurt their brands.

One American coach connected to FINA accused the newer suit makers; and we know which suit makers he meant, of only being in it for the "quick buck." When people in position of authority say these unwarranted comments, it hurts swimming and these sort of comments hurt manufacturers.

blueseventy decided to be the point for the industry and summarily went toe-to-toe with FINA in a nice "friendly meeting."

Here is a snippet from the press release and then I will translate:

This decision means that swimmers are free to wear them at the forthcoming World Championships in Rome, and all other competitions, at all levels around the world.

[blueseventy CEO], Steve Nicholls, commented: “We were confident in the scientific evidence that our suit could not trap air and are grateful for the support of Huub Touissant of the University of Amsterdam in presenting our case to FINA. We felt strongly that we would not need to make any alterations to it and we’re delighted that the right decision has been made without any form of bias.
“The last few weeks have certainly hurt us, with minimal sales in the period of not being on the list. However, we have been continuing with production to ensure availability for when the decision was reversed.

(Translation: We took the time and expense to fly our CEO from New Zealand to Luasanne, Switzerland, to explain our case both ethically and financially as to why it the FINA ban was bad for swimming and the manufacturers at large.

To blueseventy customers: Buy that blueseventy, you have at least a year-and-a-half with it and perhaps longer once FINA sees how good suits are for the sport.)

We now look forward to the World Championships, where we will have suits available for any swimmers wanting to try them out. We have been in continuous communication with swimmers throughout this period and this announcement now confirms their suit choice for Rome. They can now continue their preparation without this distraction.

"Prior to the latest announcement by FINA, blueseventy had consulted Lawyers to get an injunction against the decision. On consultation with FINA they encouraged us to instead go through their own review process which we have done." Nicholls added.
(We came to the meeting with a big stick and written on the stick were the words "class action lawsuit.)

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