Panel To Study Recent Triathlon Deaths

A committee will look for ways to prevent triathlon deaths in the future.

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A committee will look for ways to prevent triathlon deaths in the future.

USA Triathlon is creating a task force to determine if anything more can be done to prevent deaths such as those that occurred at recent races in New York City, Washington, D.C., and Louisville, Ky.

An independent panel of three physicians and two certified race directors will review the cases and see if there are common factors among them, USA Triathlon chief executive Rob Urbach told The Associated Press. The panel’s findings will then be presented to a larger review committee of medical professionals and industry personnel to determine what, if any, actions should be taken.

The move comes after five triathletes died following U.S. races over the last two months.

Two competitors, a 64-year-old man and a 40-year-old woman, died in August during the swim portion of the Nautica New York City Triathlon. Later that month, a 46-year-old man died during the swim leg of the Ironman Louisville triathlon and a 58-year-old professor at Bates College in Maine died after having a problem in the water during a triathlon in that state.

Earlier this month, a 59-year-old man died during the bike portion of the Nation’s Triathlon in Washington.

“We felt in all cases we’ve adhered to best practices,” Urbach said. “At this point, I’m being advised there’s nothing (additional) that can be done. But as a responsible governing body, we’re taking a look through this.”

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