In February 2013, FINA requested information from Arena on the production of one of their suits, the Arena Powerskin Carbon Pro racing suit (women’s full body open back), which was purchased by FINA during routine testing.
Following this, Arena launched investigations into quality control. They found that although all models of the Carbon-Pro range do adhere to the FINA regulations, further analysis discovered that a change in manufacturing process might have been the cause of infraction.
Due to a large demand for the Carbon Pro range, manufacturing processes were altered to keep up with the rise in orders. It is thought that there was an unexpected reduction of the permeability of air, occurring in the heating process that bonds the seams and adds logos to the suit of some of the suits made between the end of 2012 and beginning of 2013.
Following the in depth investigation, Arena have advised FINA to withdraw the approval codes of the concerned designs, being:
The Women Full Body Open Back
The Women Full Body Closed Back
As a result, Arena has since started to develop a superseded version to the Carbon pro suits, the Mark 2 range (pictured below). These are currently in testing throughout swim teams across the world and will be going on sale soon after FINA approval.
Arena CEO Cristiano Portas has apologised for any inconvenience. He went on to state “its commitment to fully comply with FINA rules and, more broadly, its commitment to fair competition in the world of swimming must be given the highest priority”. Thankfully, Arena has been working with FINA throughout this process and all times swum in the suits to this day will count.
British Swimming and the ASA have also put together a statement saying, “British Swimming and the ASA advise officials that FINA bylaw BL8.1 only applies to Olympic Games and FINA events. A check will only be made if a World or European is being claimed. There is no requirement for officials to check that costumes are on the approved FINA list. Bylaws BL 8.2 and BL 8.3 cover our requirement for design and material. A suit check will only be made if a World or European record is being claimed”.
Thankfully a replacement program has been installed. Customers who have purchased any of the affected suits can return their purchase at no cost in exchange for a new generation Powerskin Carbon Pro Mark 2. You can find out more details here.
Simply Swim has previously sold two of the designs in question pictured below, being the Carbon Pro Jammer and the Carbon Pro Body Short Leg Open Back. All customers who purchased these suits from Simply Swim were contacted and replacement suits were organised.
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Arena Carbon Pro Mens Jammer[/caption]
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Arena Carbon Pro Body Short Leg Open Back[/caption]