FINA is blamed in death
The International Swimming Federation (FINA) has been cited in a new report on the death of an elite swimmer during a 10k race in the UAE.
The paper, written by two American professors, said “disturbing” lapses in preparation led to the death of Fran Crippen, a US long-distance athlete who drowned during the FINA 10K Marathon in Fujairah on October 23, 2010.
The report, seen by 7DAYS, found that the staff on safety boats following the swimmers did not notice when Crippen disappeared and his body wasn’t found until several hours after the race.
As well as the death of Crippen, several other swimmers were also taken ill and one woman repeatedly vomited in the water.
The report’s authors - John Miller, a professor of sports management at Troy University, and John T Wendt, a sports law professor at the University of St Thomas - said that the water was too hot for a major endurance competition and recommended FINA set maximum water temperature standards for outdoor races.
The report, which was probing communication leading up to the tragedy, said swimmers didn’t hit the water until midday, which added to overheating problems.
Swimming caps also made it harder to stay cool.
One American swimmer said he was barely able to speak after the event because he
was so overheated. Another swimmer said she became dizzy and vomited.
FINA did not respond to requests for comment.