- The Washington Times - Wednesday, March 18, 2009

SYDNEY (AP) - Swedish swimmer Therese Alshammar claims the regulations that resulted in her being stripped of a world record time at the Australian championships were bordering on sexist.

Alshammar, the reigning world champion in the 50-meter butterfly, went under her own world record time during a heat at the trials on Tuesday, but was later disqualified when technical delegates discovered she had worn two swimsuits during the race.

National and international governing bodies for the sport recently introduced rules banning swimmers from wearing more than one swimsuit in races, aiming to stop competitors gaining any advantage in buoyancy by using multiple layers of the latest hi-tech swimwear.

Alshammar raised the question of so-called modesty rules, which allowed male and female swimmers to wear briefs under the lower part of body suits but not the top.

“I thought a modesty suit would be a modesty suit,” Alshammar told Australia’s Ten TV network news on Wednesday, explaining why she wore a conventional one-piece women’s swimsuit under her racing suit. “I would almost claim that’s a bit sexist saying that the men can cover their private parts up with briefs and women can only also wear briefs.

“I would totally … understand that a modesty suit would be to cover your modest parts. I guess you can’t even wear a modesty suit any more.”

Alshammar has been training in Australia in recent months preparing for the world championships at Rome in July.

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