The head of swimming's governing body predicted Wednesday "a step forward" in setting rules on high-performance suits used in more than 100 world records in the past year.
FINA president Mustapha Larfaoui gave no details of the possible decisions during a three-day executive meeting beginning Thursday, but his comments suggested that it would follow through with recommendations last month to place limits that include the suits' thickness and buoyancy.
"We have met with all the necessary bodies and everything will be done to benefit the swimmers," Larfaoui said at a news conference. "This is going to be a step forward."
Some swimming federations and athletes from poorer nations have complained that the costly suits, such as Speedo's LZR Racer, offer an unfair advantage.
There have been at least 109 world records set since the Speedo suit _ designed and tested with help from NASA _ became available to swimmers in February 2008. Other manufacturers followed with their own suits.
At a meeting with 16 swimwear manufacturers last month in Lausanne, Switzerland, FINA proposed restricting the suits to no thicker than 1 mm (0.04 inches); banning any external aid for the swimmer such as pain reduction or electro-stimulation; and prohibiting customized fits for individual athletes.
FINA also proposed that the suits should end below the neck and before the shoulders and ankles _ giving manufacturers until March 31 to submit designs for approval.
FINA seeks to have the new rules in place for the world championships in Rome from July 18-Aug. 2.