Competitors in amateur swimming races will be allowed to wear full body suits for the first time, as part of a rule change to encourage more Muslim women to take part in the sport.

The Amateur Swimming Association said yesterday that it was relaxing its swimsuit regulations to allow women to wear loose-fitting full body outfits, after a request from the Muslim Women's Sport Foundation.

Until now, full body suits like those worn by Olympians have been banned, as they help streamline the shape of the body and have performance-enhancing characteristics.

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