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Pioneering Sprint WRs Shot Down In Suit Tests

May 19, 2009  - Craig Lord

The first sub-21sec 50m free and the first sub-47sec 100m free are yet to be achieved in terms of counting for world records: the Jaked 01 is out, so too is the arena X-Glide. So too is the Blueseventy. FINA's independent tests have struck a blow to performance-enhancement in round one of checks and balances. Approved: 202 swimsuits, rejected 10 and called for modifications, 136. 

The "X-Glide" by Arena and the "Jaked 01", which have been used notably by French sprinters Alain Bernard and Fred Bousquet respectively to set new world records last month, are not to be found. Their world records now hang in the balance, Eamon Sullivan, of Australia, the likely holder of the sprint records once more.

The other two "world records" that must instantly come under scrutiny are Rafael Munoz's 50m butterfly, a 22.43 that wiped ha;f a second off the previous mark, which may soon be the current mark once more for Roland Schoeman, given that those ahead of him wore now "illegal" suits. And Yulia Efimova's 50m breaststroke was swum in an X-Glide, the mark perhaps soon to return to Jade Edminstone, or should it be Valentina Artemyeva, of Russia, who swam a 30.17 - but what was she wearing? And who now will admit to anything if notes were not taken and good reporting not carried out.

FINA did not mention the world records but it goes without saying that it could not allow world records to stand after having rejected the suits.

Agencies reported Christian Donze, the French federation's technical director who watched a new-suit fashion parade of a national championships last month, as saying: "Both swimsuits (Jaked 01 and Arena's X-Glide) are not on the (approved) list. We're waiting for more information from FINA before making any statement."

More analysis later.