Stealing this from a radio show, but I think the current controversy re the suits has simply marked the absurd end point of a sport utterly obsessed with records and medals.
For starters, why are there four strokes competed in at the Olympics and majors? We dont have a running backwards event. What on earth is butterfly? Would anyone ever swim butterfly outside of competition? Guys like Thorpe and Phelps have shown thatthe best freestyle swimmers could dominate the niche strokes if they could be bothered. There should just be distances and you can swim whatever stroke you like - 50, 100, 200, 400, 800 and 1500.
Also, why are there separate events and world records for short course and long course (short course occurring in 25m pools rather than the Olympic 50m)? Again, you don't see any meetings in athletics where the 100m is run as two lengths of a 50m track.
Grinds my gears tbh. And that's before we get onto the suits.