- The Washington Times - Friday, March 3, 2017

Full-body swimsuits will soon appear in amateur swimming competitions across England due to a rule change approved this week by a governing body.

The Amateur Swimming Association relaxed rules on Tuesday for loose-fitting, full-body outfits after a request by the Muslim Women’s Sport Foundation. Competitors were previously prohibited from all such suits, particularly those favored by Olympians due to their ability to decrease friction through the water.

“This is a very positive step forward for competitive swimming in England and one that we hope will encourage many more people to take part,” Chris Bostock, chairman of the ASA sport governing board, said in a statement, the U.K. Telegraph reported.

Rimla Akhtar, from the Muslim Women’s Sport Foundation, echoed Mr. Bostock’s enthusiasm.

“The MWSF is glad to have requested a review of competition laws in relation to full body suits by the ASA and are extremely pleased at the outcome,” Ms. Akhtar said, the newspaper reported. “We thank the ASA for their leadership in this matter. We look forward to continuing to work together to ensure that this ruling is also adopted at the elite level both nationally and internationally.”

Swimmers who wish to wear-full body suits for religious or medical reasons must have the apparel inspected prior to their event.

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