Fairness And Performance-Enhancing Swimsuits AT The 2009 Swimming World Championships: The 'Asterisk' Championships

Sport, Ethics and Philosophy 5 (1):63-74 (2011)
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The use of polyurethane swimsuits at the 2009 World Aquatics Championships resulted in world records being set for almost all swimming events. This paper explores the implications that the use of these performance-enhancing swimsuits had on fairness in relative and absolute outcomes in swimming. I claim that the use of ?super swimsuits? unfairly influenced relative outcomes within the competition because not all swimmers used, or had access to, the same types of swimsuit (some of which were clearly ?faster? than others). Furthermore, I claim that the use of performance-enhancing swimsuits by current competitors unfairly influences inter-temporal relative outcomes. It is evident that competitors and coaches in elite swimming place great importance on making inter-temporal comparisons on the basis of absolute outcomes in the sport (as measured by a swimmer's race time). A ban on the use of super swimsuits may be justified in order to preserve the fairness of such inter-temporal comparisons, and records set using performance-enhancing swimsuits at the 2009 World Championships should be demarcated from others



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Enhancement in Sport, and Enhancement outside Sport.Thomas Douglas - 2007 - Studies in Ethics, Law, and Technology 1 (1).

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