Nike will allow its swimmers to wear Speedo’s controversial LZR Racer swimwuit instead of its own suit at the Beijing Olympics. Nike felt it was fair to extend the offer it made in June allowing its swimmers to wear Speedo’s suit at the U.S. Olympic Trials.
Nike swimmers Brendan Hansen and Aaron Peirsol will likely still wear a Nike cap while they swim, seen more easily in the water than the suit.
Said Nike in a statement: “Nike is a company that exists to serve athletes – hence this limited exception to allow Nike swimmers to compete without distractions was the correct thing to do given the very unique circumstances.”
Four swimmers who signed with Nike, which has some of the industry’s tightest controls on athlete contract agreements, are heading to the Olympics.
Since its launch in February, swimmers have broken dozens of world records and athletes not sponsored by Speedo have clamored to wear it. Tyr Sport Inc. sued Speedo in May, alleging in its lawsuit that the company conspired with the U.S. swimming federation to stifle competition and lure top athletes away from other sponsors. Speedo said the lawsuit is baseless.