FINA Convenes Coronavirus COVID-19 Task Force With Van Den Hoogenband, Mountjoy & Gerrard To Consider Plan Of Action

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FINA establishes COVID-19 taskforce

FINA has established a task force of medical experts, including Dr. Margo Mountjoy, FINA Bureau Member and Sports Medicine Committee Liaison, Prof. Cees-Rein van den Hoogenband, Sports Medicine Committee Chairman, and Prof. David Gerrard, Sports Medicine Committee Vice-Chairman, to consider the possible consequences of the coronavirus for aquatic sports.

Swimming World revealed yesterday that the FINA leadership has a proposal on the table from first vice-president Hussain Al-Musallam to impose a three-month moratorium, on all FINA events as part of containment measures. However, fellow ruling Bureau members were concerned about the consequences of such drastic action, while some have expressed the view that FINA needs to work with the International Olympic Committee and Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games organisers.

A decision was taken not to plunge straight into a moratorium but seek expert opinion of the new task force charged with making recommendations. It will then. be for the FINA leadership to decide.

The FINA statement in full issued a moment ago:

In order to best protect the health and wellbeing of participants in international aquatics competitions, FINA has established a COVID-19 taskforce. Comprised of leading medical experts, the group will consider and assess the spread of COVID-19. It will consider the consequences of that spread for FINA events and efforts to safeguard participants both in terms of practical measures and communications.

“Since the start of the COVID-19 outbreak, FINA has been working hard to make sure our athletes, officials and fans are protected as much as possible,” said FINA President Dr. Julio C. Maglione. “All those who love Aquatics are looking forward to the competitions of Tokyo 2020. FINA is being proactive to secure the Olympic Qualifying System for our disciplines and to ensure our athletes benefit from both sporting opportunity and health protection. FINA’s long-standing focus on health means we can call on many widely-recognised experts in the medical field. We are very grateful for their time and their insights.”

The FINA taskforce will be responsible for:

  • Analysing the spread of the virus
  • Making a forecast of its impact on FINA events
  • Recommending protective measures
  • Informing FINA Member Federations on common public health strategies that will minimise spread the risk of individual infection
  • Coordinating with the IOC Medical Commission

The FINA taskforce is composed of the following members:

  • Dr. Margo Mountjoy, FINA Bureau Member and Sports Medicine Committee Liaison
  • Dr. Mohamed Diop, FINA Bureau Member
  • Dr. Mario Fernandes, FINA Bureau Member
  • Prof. Cees-Rein van den Hoogenband, Sports Medicine Committee Chairman
  • Prof. David Gerrard, Sports Medicine Committee Vice-Chairman

FINA continues to liaise closely with the IOC, event hosts and public health authorities. FINA encourages all event participants to continue to seek information from these reliable sources. FINA also encourages every care in adopting practical measures to safeguard health and limit the spread of COVID-19

At present, while there may be some impact on events, FINA does not anticipate changes to the overall Olympic Qualifying systems in place for its aquatic disciplines.

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3 comments

  1. avatar
    Stephen Wan

    Is swimming training and competition safe? Is there guideline?

  2. avatar
    Anonymous

    Yes

  3. Alan Godfrey

    Why is this different to the flu virus that comes every year??
    The flu is also a Coronavirus.
    The mortality versus age rate for flu and covid-19 is very similar. So swimmers have little to worry about- coaches …. 🤔
    Are we going to do this every Winter flu now?
    Oh yes, mortality rates depend on health care system, and country. I.e. data from China is skewed by people suffering from air pollution and high smoking rates.

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