As Michael Phelps collects gold medals and breaks world records, he does most of it in the ugly but high-tech Speedo LZR bodysuit, developed with Nasa and designed to improve performance in the water.
But now rival companies are accusing Speedo of dirty tricks.
BBC: Rival brands have accused [Speedo] of psychologically pressurising athletes to wear its latest swimsuit suit while coaches have attacked Speedo for sapping morale.
Meanwhile a rival company, California’s TYR Sport, has even mounted legal action – taking Speedo to the US courts accusing it of conducting a monopoly and false advertising.
TYR has also sued the US swimming team, its head coach Mark Schubert and even two times Olympian Erik Vendt for daring to wear Speedo’s latest wonder-suit when he was contracted to slip into TYR’s swimwear…
Some athletes are so convinced of its positive effects of performance that they have ditched sponsorship agreements with rival firms to get hold of it…
[Coach] Schubert believed in the suit so much he warned swimmers taking part in Olympic trials earlier this year that they should wear the LZR “or they may end up at home watching on NBC”
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