Nike allows swimmers to wear Speedo

/ Source: Associated Press Sports

Nike will allow its swimmers to wear Speedo's sleek LZR Racer instead of its own suit at the Beijing Olympics.

Nike spokesman Dean Stoyer said Wednesday the company 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.

"It is about putting their performance and their focus first,'' Stoyer said. "This is what they have trained for. It is the biggest moment of their lives.''

Four swimmers who signed with Nike, which has some of the industry's tightest controls on athlete contract agreements, are heading to the Olympics.

Speedo's sleek LZR Racer has caused major waves this year. Since its launch in February, swimmers have broken dozens of world records and athletes not sponsored by Speedo have clamored to wear it.

It also caused some backlash. One Italian coach accused Speedo of technological doping. And 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.

British-owned Speedo says the lawsuit is baseless.