OMAHA, Neb. (AP) When Ryan Lochte puts on his high-tech swimsuit, the only thing missing is the cape.
"I feel like an action hero," the world record-holder said.
But, amid an all-out assault on the record book and gushy talk of suits designed with the help of NASA, there's a nasty undercurrent heading into the U.S. Olympic trials that begin Sunday.
On the eve of the meet, two rival companies held dueling media events to tout the benefits of their competing suits a battle that's moved beyond the pool and into federal court.
While the next step in TYR Sport's antitrust lawsuit against Speedo was put off until after the Beijing Olympics, there's still plenty of bitterness in a case that has as much to do with market share as it does with lap times.
TYR claims Speedo is in cahoots with USA Swimming, using its hefty financial clout to strong-arm American athletes into wearing its attire. The governing body also is a defendant in the case, along with national team head coach Mark Schubert and two-time Olympian Erik Vendt.
An uneasy demilitarized zone has been set up right through the middle of Omaha, the two companies staring each other down during a lull in their legal tussle.