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U.S. open-water swimmer Fran Crippen had concerns about the lack of coaching assistance and financial support U.S. athletes were receiving, and he made his concerns known in an e-mail to the Head of USA Swimming. The note was sent nine days before Crippen died during an open-water event in the United Arab Emirates.
While two separate investigations into Crippen’s Oct. 23 death will undoubtedly focus on allegations that world governing body FINA failed to ensure safe conditions for the race in the United Arab Emirates, the actions of USA Swimming are also under scrutiny.
Crippen’s e-mail to USA Swimming executive director Chuck Wielgus refers to a plan being pushed by former national team coach Mark Schubert that called for increased compensation and making sure someone was on hand to support and watch out for the athletes at major events.