Fortunately (or unfortunately depending on your preference) we have not reached the level of absurdity where everything that may offer an unfair advantage is banned in sports competition. The latest culprit in offering an unfair advantage is not any type of designer anabolic steroid created by a rogue chemist in a secret underground lab. It is a new Speedo swimsuit (“,” March 27).
The new swimsuit? Speedo’s LZR Racer.
That modest meet last month in Columbia, Mo., began an unprecedented — and controversial — six weeks that turned competitive swimming upside down: 14 world records set as of Wednesday, 13 in the LZR suit.
“There’s going to be more fireworks,” Speedo USA executive Stu Isaac said of the records being shattered. He suggested that more would fall at the ongoing Olympic trials in Sydney, Australia, and the U.S. trials in Omaha, starting in June.
But the onslaught of new world records has ignited debate over whether high-tech apparel provides an unfair advantage.
Actually, the swimsuit has not been banned. So, swimmers will not be forced to swim naked during competition. The newwas approved by (competitive swimming’s governing body) having met the rules for swimsuits (e.g. minimum thickness, etc).
Some doping commentators like anabolic steroids since they are so inexpensive as evidenced by Kelcey Dalton (former girlfriend of chemist Patrick Arnold) recent court . However, the idea of leveling the playing field by allowing cheap steroids to be used by all athletes has been strongly rejected. So, the economics of access is not the determining factor.suggest that the best way to eliminate an unfair advantage is to make that substance, technology, etc. readily available to all competitors. This could easily be accomplished with
Yet, theabout the unfair advantage of the Speedo LXR swimsuit turns out to be economic in nature.
Many of the complaints so far are from national federations that have deals with other manufacturers and contend that the LZR, which costs $550, creates an uneven playing field of the haves and have-nots.
It turns out many national federations will not allow their athletes to wear this new performance-enhancing swimsuit because the federations have entered contracts with commercial entities; secondarily it has been suggested that the $550 price tag is prohibitively expensive for less affluent athletes. I’m not sure anyone in the history of civilization has effectively determined how to level the economic playing field. Good luck to sports organizations at tackling this one!