The Fight is On

First Nike abandoned its position in the swimwear industry. Now Adidas says it may be next. But the company isn’t going down without a fight. Recent reports say that Adidas wants “fair and professional” rules and approval processes brought into the sport of swimming.

A source close to the organisation that draws up guidelines for FINA, the international swimming federation, believes the sport’s financial future hangs in the balance at a time of economic crisis.

But don’t call it a crisis for Warnaco. The company’s success with the Speedo LZR Racer may not have translated into a huge profit yet, but that doesn’t mean the company isn’t steps away from holding a monopoly on the industry. The LZR swimsuit has even made its way into some high schools in Missouri–where it is still causing controversy. Speedo is even beginning to infiltrate into India.

The good news for Adidas is that there are plans to review these high-tech swimsuits.

“FINA, the world governing body for swimming, will hold a forum in February to discuss placing possible restrictions on the use of long-length, high-tech swim suits…”

And more protests to the swimsuit have been arising recently. Two of the world’s top swimmers “French 100m freestyle champion Alain Bernard and Brazil’s 50m king Cesar Cielo” have left Speedo and will wear swimsuits from rival manufacturers.

Still, Olympic Champion Natalie Coughlin isn’t worried about the fight and the controversy surrounding Speedo. In a recent interview with Swimming World Magazine, Couglin participated in this interview:

Q: How much does the Speedo LZR Racer really help, and does it provide an unfair advantage?
A: To say it’s an unfair advantage is ridiculous because everyone was wearing them. The LZR is a great suit. Speedo is an amazing company; I’ve worn Speedo for my entire career. It’s a fantastic suit, but the people in the suits were the ones breaking world records, not the suit.

It should be interesting to see if this issue causes a stir with the next summer Olympics still 1335 days away.

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