The Sting In Schubert's Tale
Jun 29, 2008
Craig Lord

Mark Schubert, USA head coach, has kept a tight lip when it comes to the legal action being taken against him by TYR in the wake of logical comments he made to SwimNews back in Manchester at the world short-course championships. But he couldn't resist a back-door criticism of TYR when he praised Nike and its decision to hand choice back to athletes that it backed in the face of suit technology that it had yet to match.

TYR is also suing Erik Vendt for breaking a contract and wearing the Speedo LZR. When asked about Nike, Schubert told reporters at trials in Omaha: 'The good of their athlete is the most important thing rather than suing the athlete for not wearing their suit. That shows a lot of class. It could have been a huge problem if athletes were trying to decide which suit to wear ... That's an American attitude. Any other attitude is a selfish attitude.'

TYR lawyer Larry Hilton told the Los Angeles Times: 'That's not really Mark Schubert speaking. That's Speedo. He's acting as a conduit for Speedo. Metaphorically, he was wearing his Speedo hat when he made that comment.' Maybe, maybe not. What Schubert does not hide is that he is a paid spokesman for Speedo. That might be a problem were it not for the fact that the US federation is also backed by Speedo but gives choice to its swimmers. The argument is whether Schubert has brought to bear undue influence. And even there, you might argue that it is his job to do just that in the hunt for gold medals.

Snapshot highlights from first morning in Omaha:


400m medley heats: Katie Hoff 4:34.59 (here comes that first 4:29?); Elizabeth Beisel 4:35.76.
400m medleys heats: Ryan Lochte 4:13.38; Michael Phelps 4:13.43.
100m butterfly heats: Christine Magnuson 57.84; Elaine Breeden, 58.03.

Watch for full coverage Stateside from Nikki Dryden and Adam Sioui.