It's amazing that fabric technology development has come so far.
Some sports clothing can now be designed to enhance performance so effectively that unless everyone competes in the same garment there would be a clearly unfair advantage leading to it being BANNED, like a Sex Pistols T-shirt or a American Apparel advert!
Tina Maze the Ski racer courted controversy earlier this year by wearing 'plastic' underwear which it was said gave her an aerodynamic edge. Her competitors weren't happy.
This isn't new news.
The LZR swimsuit by British brand Speedo caused a major upset at the Beijing Olympics. With it's body covering silhouette, ultrasonically welded seams(i.e. bonded together with the high pitched frequency of sound),water repellency which also serves to trap the air inside the suit to aid buoyancy, compression panels which hold the body in a more hydrodynamic position and stops the muscles vibrating in the water.
Within a week of its launch in 2008 three world records were broken by swimmers wearing the suit. Michael Phelps run of gold medals at Beijing were all won wearing variations of this suit. By the end of the Games 94% of the swimming races won were by competitors wearing a LZR suit. Endorsed for competitive use by FINA prior to the Beijing Olympics, the suit reportedly can lower racing times for a competitor by 1.9 to 2.2 percent!
Shortly after the Games it was banned, then not, then banned again and now as far as I understand it the size of the swimsuit is now regulated so it cannot cover all of the body.
Following the controversy Speedo set a project with British Fashion Students to recycle and re-imagined the LZR fabric into more fashionable swimwear.
Finally I hope somewhere in the world that this amazing technology is still being developed or used already to help someone go fast in the water to do something incredible like save or enhance a life and that we get to hear about it in a positive light!