TYR Proceeds with Civil Action Against FINA
FINA admits to no testing protocol, does not provide test results as requested, rejects suits of similar design to those currently approved
HUNTINGTON BEACH, CA – July 9, 2009 – In the interest of fairness, and out of responsibility to our athletes, TYR has instructed its legal counsel to file a complaint with the Tribunal de Grande Instance de Strasbourg, France. TYR will be asking the court to nominate an independent legal expert to determine why some suits have been approved by FINA while nearly identical suits from TYR were not.
This proceeding comes after multiple, failed attempts to resolve the issue directly with FINA. In question are four swimsuit designs from TYR (model names based upon FINA submittal documents):
1. B1: Neoprene combined with woven material (more than 20% permeable material)
2. B3: Polyurethane combined with woven material (more than 20% permeable material)
3. B8: Seamless Polyurethane with woven backing
4. B9: Seamless Polyurethane with knit backing
These designs are similar to, and in two instances incorporate a greater percentage of permeable material, than suits already approved by FINA.
In addition to the submission of swimsuits, TYR has subsequently provided independent test results for the B8 design from the French Institute of Textile and Apparel that found the material to be of equal permeability to a full polyurethane suit currently allowed for competition by FINA.
"This is a truly unfortunate situation we are all in," says Matt Zimmer, Promotions Director at TYR. "Our athletes are being denied the opportunity to compete on a level playing field. I am holding elite technology in my hands, virtually identical to what other athletes are now using, that I cannot give out due to FINA's failure in their own testing protocol and approval process."
In March, FINA issued their formal Dubai Charter that stated they had, "sought the support of independent scientific experts of worldwide reputation who will notably assist in the determination of meaningful tests." They went on to specifically state, "FINA has established its own independent control/testing programs conducted by a neutral team led by Prof. Jan-Anders Manson, from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (EPFL) and Laboratory of Polymer and Composite Technology."
Unexpectedly, and without reason, FINA admitted on June 22nd that it has no testing method for air trapping. In a FINA issued press release they wrote, "the Executive found that the evidence of "in use" air trapping effect is complex and that it would require considerable time to create and implement comprehensive control mechanisms and test methods..."
At this time, FINA has not provided TYR with testing results for any of the TYR models submitted as requested by legal counsel. FINA has failed to comply with its own Dubai Charter and has offered no official statement as to why it had shifted the burden of suit testing onto the manufacturer.
Because of this, and in the best interest of the sport, TYR is moving forward with its complaint and will ask a court appointed expert to answer the following questions:
1. Do all of the currently approved suits abide by the rules outlined in the FINA Dubai Charter?
2. How do the suits currently approved by FINA differ from the four suits (B1, B3, B8, and B9) that TYR has submitted?
TYR will now await the opinion from the court.