Swimnews is reporting that today is the day that all the swimsuit companies get their “15 minutes” to plead their cases to FINA about why their suit should make the final approved list for this long course season. To quote Craig Lord:
“For now, more certain is that there will be some uncomfortable moments in Lausanne today; for FINA, for the independent testing team and for suit makers. Feelings boil down to the question of whether it is fair to have left the Speedo LZR and other 2008-09 non-textile apparel in the water when they clearly enhance performance but then cut out things such as the Jaked01 and arena X-Glide when they also enhance performance, if not in a quantifiable way then surely in a significant and undeniable fashion.”
Yeah, I’d say it will be uncomfortable. I can only hope that John Leonard isn’t the one trying to give the suit companies an explanation for drawing their imaginary line at the LZR. The lawyers will eat him alive. In his interview with Garrett at floswim he danced around the answers to the hard questions better than the zombies in the Thriller video. He is on the FINA suit commission and could not give any clue of the testing procedure that got suits taken off of the unapproved list. He made it clear that he knows nothing about the testing. He didn’t even get the head of the testing team’s name right! What’s worse is that he then went on a spiel about air trapping being an issue since 2000 and pointed at the “silver” sheen when someone jumps in the pool with a dry FS1, which is on the FINA approved list. How can you admit that other suits trap air too, but then give no reason for drawing the line where you did? If permeability is not to be addressed until January, there is no justifiable reason to have made the decisions that were made. The whole point of forming the commission was so that we could have an open scientific process through which to make a fair decision. Way to go, guys.
When the buoyancy and thickness standards were printed, I honestly thought the list was going to allow all current tech… and just like I and so many others predicted, current tech met those standards. When the Arena X-glide debuted, it had not yet been approved by FINA. I could almost hear the defeat in Alan Thompson’s voice when he was quoted as saying this regarding Alain Bernard’s 100m free record set in that unapproved suit: “The procedure has been very open, all the manufacturers know what tests will be done, and I doubt that any major manufacturer would submit a suit that wouldn't get through the process.”
How then, did we get to where we are?
It looks to me like hiring Prof. Manson was just for show. They “carefully” added the word “may” to the required specs for suit companies to follow so that they can take the scientific stats and throw them out the window if needed and disqualify any suits they see fit. How are they gonna explain that to Blueseventy’s lawyers? Hopefully better than John Leonard explained it to us. This meeting is gonna be a zoo.