If they wanted handicapping in swimming, they would be much more likely to use calibrated ankle weights or something. A similar system has worked for handicapping horse racing and seems to be easily understood. Your example is a very poor argument for your point.
Wait, what? "They would be much more likely to use ankle weights?" Who is "they" and where did you get this crazy notion?
Well, I'm sorry I brought it up.
But yeah....no...you can't do that to people. It would change the human body's angle in the water, which would further disadvantage the best athletes, and on top of that, it would likely cause injuries due to the changed mechanics for arms, shoulders, and elbows. Furthermore, it would prevent new records from being established, killing the competition aspect of the sport. Even the use of resistance training aids (drag suits, hand paddles, etc) must be done with care so as to avoid a potentially career-ending injury. And never in a competition, damn!
Just the thought of this makes my shoulders, elbows, and wrists hurt!
Oh and it shouldn't be done to horses either. Weights pulling down on legs during the pounding of running would exert forces far beyond the design limitations of mere cartilage, ligaments, and bone! We learned this at least in the 80s when people were wearing ankle weights while running and doing aerobics. So knowing that now, doing it again would be a form of abuse!
Sorry to take the topic off track, but seriously, I had no idea I was, ahem, diving into a pool of controversy. And over something that I don't really feel strongly about (handicapping of AIs in this game). Handicap/cheating, call it whatever you want and I'll call it practical. In a computer game, some of that must be employed so as to calibrate the AI to work for all skills, or else we can only play the game on one skill level, and that would be no fun at all. As I see it, the only other alternative to handicaps is to write different levels of AI behavior. This can be done of course; it's just going to cost more labor for designing and coding, with maybe not much to gain for all the effort.
I'm going to stop following this thread. It no longer interests me, and quite frankly, I don't want to spend any more time arguing against the cruelty of restraints on the natural body movements of any mammal, human or other. Unless they're giant subterranean worms on one of my colonies, that is. But then those probably aren't mammals, and there's always a new thread for that.