FINA Releases Response to U.S. Open Water Review Commission Report

LAUSANNE, Switzerland, April 14. IN response to yesterday's release of the U.S. Open Water Review Commission's recommendations as well as the Commission's frustration with FINA for lack of cooperation, FINA distributed the following response:

FINA's first thoughts on this matter go to the Fran Crippen family and the terrible moments of grief and difficult times they are passing following the tragic loss of their beloved one on October 23, 2010, during the last leg of the FINA 10km Marathon Swimming World Cup series in Fujairah (UAE).

FINA has received the first conclusions of the US Open Water Review Commission, which should be commended for its most useful contribution.

The FINA's own Task Force, led by Gunnar Werner, Vice Chairman of CAS and FINA Honorary Member, is composed of five persons including two representatives appointed by US Aquatics/USA Swimming with the mission to investigate all issues related with the tragedy occurred in Fujairah (UAE). It is empowered to exchange all information with the US Open Water Review Commission.

As soon as the FINA's Task Force's report will be available, it will be considered by the Bureau as to the necessary steps to be taken. In the meantime, FINA has already held a meeting of the Technical Open Water Swimming Committee (TOWSC) formed by some of the best experts of the open water swimming worldwide and one member of the USA Swimming in order to review the Rules & Regulations of the FINA 10km Marathon Swimming World Cup 2011.

The existing Rules & Regulations were confirmed and reinforced, in particular in the areas of swimmers' escorts and safety monitoring and FINA Bureau approved those rules few days ago by mail vote. Details have been forwarded to all FINA National Federations and all organizers of FINA Open Water Swimming events; they are available on the FINA website. In case of non compliance, the FINA Technical Delegate, together with the FINA Safety Delegate, will have the power to cancel the event.

Furthermore the FINA Sports Medicine Committee recommended a maximum water temperature of 31 °C.

FINA reiterates its appreciation of USA Swimming's support to Open Water Swimming and the reinforcement of this discipline's department within its structure.