Iranian swimmer Elham Asghari claims to have swum over 11 miles in eight hours but says the sports ministry refuses to recognize her achievement in the Caspian Sea because of her swimwear, according to Agence-France Press.
Thirty-two-year-old Asghari, a swim teacher, says she completed the swim on June 11 at a women's only beach, according to a video cited by AFP (watch it below).
However, a sports ministry official, Shahrnaz Vernoos, was quoted on Mehrkhane.com as saying: "Female free water swimming is contrary to the rules of the ministry of sports and youth," adding that no one was around to vouch for Asghari's swim, said AFP.
There also appears to have been some questions as to her attire. Women in Iran are required to cover extensively when in public, even while swimming in ladies-only areas. Asgari said she had on a hat as well as her headscarf, not to mention swimwear that she said weighed "six pounds when soaked in water," reported AFP, citing her interview with Iran's Bahar newspaper on June 26.
The swimmer said the Islamic sports ministry will not admit her record due to concerns over her bathing costume, but this could not be independently verified.
"Clearly they’re trying to disuade her from doing what she loves," said the women's magazine The Frisky, calling Asghari the "kickass woman of the day" on Thursday. Asghari was reportedly recognized by the ministry for completing a 12-kilometer swim five years ago.
Watch Asghari's video appeal here: