Put the Athlete's First!
WE THE SWIMMING COMMUNITY demand that the FINA-approved suit list (the List) be modified to include all suits meeting scientifically verifiable standards, that the evaluation process be free of all corporate interests so as to provide a true level playing field for all swimmers, and that the approval process should include price and durability in its evaluation. The List, published May 19, 2009 and its evaluation process was designed to establish a method to regulate the progression of technology in swimming. The Dubai Charter was meant to entrench the athleticism and hard work of athletes at the center of the sport while also providing natural opportunities for the sport to evolve and progress accordingly. The swimming community recognizes that the performance of the swimmer is somewhat owed to the suit he or she is wearing, Accordingly, we share FINA's goal of protecting the purity of our sport. We also want to allow our sport to grow and evolve at every level. The introduction of the techsuit at the Beijing Olympics was part of that evolution. Technology has been a part of our sport since the beginning, and WE believe that it is an essential component to our sport's continued success and growth. However, while the evolution must be regulated, FINA has not lived up to its own rules. FINA has not been consistent in its interpretation of its own rules. The resulting Dubai Charter process was intended to be inclusive, unbiased, and based on verifiable scientific data. While manufacturers were consulted, FINA utilized Corporate-paid and sponsored individuals in the actual approval process resulting in an unfair bias against all other manufacturers. This bias is visible in the List. Many of the banned suits passed the scientific tests, yet were deemed illegal on the criteria that they may exhibit an effect that has no objective scientific basis. Furthermore, many of these banned suits share design, construction, and materials with legal suits. This undermines the Dubai Charter's goal of objectivity and places final approval in the hands of subjective individuals. Additionally, the cost and durability of these suits are of prime interest to athletes, which FINA has completely disregarded. By banning some of the most durable and reasonably priced suits available, FINA is forcing consumers to spend more money than before. WE DEMAND that all scientifically verified suits be listed as approved, the approval process be removed of all subjective and corporate influence, and the welfare of the swimmers be included in all current and future evaluations. Respectfully, The World Swimming Community