Are shin splints dangerous
What are the side effects / disadvantages of compression garments?
Livestrong has a great page that illustrates many points and references medical studies to support this.
Some important points:
limits additional muscle movement or "vibrations" ... [which] reduces the amount of energy you expend
Help the hamstrings control leg movement at the end of the swing phase ... delay muscle soreness by compressing muscle tissue so that less damage occurs
reduces the impact on the muscles by 27 percent
increases the amount of lactate that is retained in the muscles, thus decreasing the amount that is released into the blood
The compression of the shorts can protect against venous thrombosis
Compression shorts can help cool the body down by wicking sweat away from the body and allowing it to dissipate faster. Please see the page for more information.
From a personal point of view, I find that the shorts also provide the much-needed support for the man-specific area. :) I can't say I have ever experienced any negative side effects from using compression equipment. If the gear is too tight and worn over a long period of time it can certainly cause damage, but that would be considered abuse and is not a real side effect of the compression material. I have been wearing shin splint compression sleeves for a full day / night and have not seen any adverse effects.
I can only speculate why they are banned. There is a difference between cycling shorts and compression shorts. The most important thing is the padding (try going more than 50 miles without this, you will understand). Because of the "scientifically proven" benefit that compression equipment can provide, they are likely to ban it in order to keep the race as natural as possible, similar to item bans in most sports.
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