Swimming: FINA "absolute disgrace" over suits, says Hackett
Posted: 28 July 2009 1639 hrs
SYDNEY : Australian swimming legend Grant Hackett has branded the sport's governing body an "absolute disgrace" after its decision to allow bodysuits at the World Championships triggered a glut of new records.
Hackett called for FINA's leadership to be sacked after seeing fellow Australian Ian Thorpe's seven-year 400m freestyle world mark erased by supersuit-wearing Paul Biedermann.
"I hate saying this because I sound like a bad sport, but that world record would not have gone without that suit," Hackett said, according to The Australian on Tuesday.
Hackett's 800m and 1,500m freestyle times are the last pre-bodysuit world records still standing after 11 marks fell in just two days at Rome, the newspaper said.
"What FINA's top officials have done to the sport, what they have allowed to happen, is an absolute disgrace," Hackett said.
"New leadership is needed to look after the sport. I'm furious at FINA. I don't know who's running the show at the moment but they've shown an absolute lack of leadership that has undermined and compromised the sport."
FINA has announced a ban on the polyurethane-based swim suits which does not take effect until next year, prompting some ultra-fast times by comparatively minor names.
Along with Germany's Biedermann, Swedish teenager Sarah Sjostrom and American Ariana Kukors have also set tongues wagging by both clocking world records on consecutive days.
"There are going to be huge controversies about this," top Australian coach Ken Wood told public broadcaster ABC.
"These records are still going to be there in 40 years."