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Smith on task force formed to probe Crippen's death.

The five-member panel will be chaired by Werner

Dubai Dr Tobie Smith, an open water swimming world champion and a former member on the US Swim Team, will be one of the members on the Fina task force confirmed to investigate the death of American swimmer Francis Crippen in Fujairah last month.

Fina, the world governing body for swimming, on Monday confirmed Gunnar Werner, a Fina Honorary Member and Senior Vice President, Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) and a lawyer as chairman of the five-member task force to investigate the death of American swimmer Crippen.

And Werner will be assisted by members Dr Harold Vervaecke from Belgium, Dr Antonio Pelliccia from Italy, Australian open water swimming coach Greg Towle and Dr Tobie Smith from the US on this committee.

The 36-year-old Dr Smith represented the US at the 1998 World Aquatics Championships in Perth, Australia when she went on to win the gold medal in the 25km event.

Dr Smith now specialises in family medicine and practises in New York City. She has also been a staunch advocate of open water swimming and safety for athletes ever since she stopped her swimming career after winning the 25km race during the 8th Fina World Championships held in 1998 in Perth, Australia.

Fina announced on Monday night that the task force will start its work immediately.

Dr Vervaecke has a doctorate in sports medicine and physical education and he is also secretary general of the International Life Saving Federation (ILSF).

Dr Pelliccia is the scientific director of the Institute of Sports Medicine and an acclaimed authority on cardiovascular diseases and sports medicine specialising in sudden death.

Towle has been appointed a member on the committee, subject to confirmation due to his extensive experience in coaching open water swimmers under varying conditions.

Fina had announced its decision to create a special task force to investigate the causes and circumstances leading to the death of Crippen on October 23 during the eighth and final round of the Fina 10km Marathon Swimming World Cup held off the Fujairah International Marine Club (FIMC).


Francis Crippen

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Publication:Gulf News (United Arab Emirates)
Geographic Code:7UNIT
Date:Nov 3, 2010
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