Anatomy of a Finger-Taping DQ Overturned: Pan American Games Photo Gallery

Jul 15, 2015; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Michael Weiss of the United States swims in the men’s 4x200m freestyle relay final with taped finger during the 2015 Pan Am Games at Pan Am Aquatics UTS Centre and Field House. Mandatory Credit: Erich Schlegel-USA TODAY Sports
Photo Courtesy: Rob Schumacher/USA Today Sports Images

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As soon as word broke that Team USA might be disqualified from the men’s 800-meter free relay at the 2015 Pan American Games, reporters descended to find out just why.

With news that the Red, White and Blue foursome was disqualified due to Michael Weiss taping his fingers together after a hand injury, against the rules of the sport, photographers on scene made sure to get plenty of pictures of the evidence for people to see.

Anatomy of a Finger-Taping DQ: Pan American Games Photo Gallery

Original report:

Controversy reigned in the men’s 800-meter free relay as Team USA was disqualified behind Brazil’s Pan American Games record at the 2015 Pan American Games.

Brazil’s Luiz Melo (1:48.39), Joao De Lucca (1:47.79), Thiago Pereira (1:48.14) and Nicolas Oliveira (1:46.83) won the men’s 800-meter free relay with a time of 7:11.15. That swim cleared Brazil’s 2007 record of 7:12.27 to break the record and deliver Brazil another freestyle relay victory.

Team USA had initially won silver with a 7:12.20 from Michael Weiss, Michael Klueh, Gunnar Bentz and Darian Townsend.  However, after the race, Team USA was disqualified because Weiss has taped his fingers together which is against the rules.

The medal ceremony was postponed pending an appeal from Team USA, so we will know later whether Team USA can litigate the controversy to its favor.

The rule in question is as follows:

SW 10.8 No swimmer shall be permitted to use or wear any device or swimsuit that may aid his/her speed, buoyancy or endurance during a competition (such as webbed gloves, flippers, fins, etc.). Goggles may be worn. Any kind of tape on the body is not permitted unless approved by FINA Sport Medicine Committee.

Canada’s Jeremy Bagshaw (1:49.56), Alec Page (1:49.20), Stefan Milosevic (1:49.33) and Ryan Cochrane (1:49.24) took silver in 7:17.33.

Venezuela’s Daniele Tirabassi (1:51.75), Marcos Lavado (1:50.04), Andres Doria (1:50.39) and Cristian Quintero (1:48.96) earned bronze in 7:21.14.

Mexico (7:22.12) and Argentina (7:22.82) also had clean times.


  1. George Smith

    Dummy ! Should of taped with KT tape and he would be approved

  2. Paul Smith

    Stupid athlete, stupid coaching staff….if you don’t know about this rule your an idiot

    • avatar

      *you’re an idiot

  3. Brian Mullies

    This is a coaching issue. They know the rules.

    • Rebecca Rice

      I agree. The coach should have Spoken to the ref or meet director prior.

  4. Conner Andrews

    Settle down. Give Weiss a break.

  5. avatar

    Gotta say it’s a “no brainer”. Injury or not, it’s a mechanical advantage and needed a different solution.

  6. avatar

    Gotta say it’s a “no brainer”. Injury or not, it’s a mechanical advantage and needed a different solution.

  7. An experience the US team will never forget. Still a coaching issue in my opinion.

  8. avatar
    Tony Tapper

    Isn’t there anyone on team USA who actually knows the rules and could’ve given him a heads up, even if he didn’t know?
    What about his team mates for instance?
    Just ridiculous!

  9. Alison Miller

    Any tape is disallowed, without prior clearance. Every coach and senior swimmer looks at rule book to see the paper thin cracks where you can innovate.
    DQ should have stood.

  10. avatar

    A lot of people who don’t know anything commenting here. Let the American bashing begin.