Even after Wednesday night’s fiasco with the disqualification, and reinstatement, of the American silver-medal winning 800 free relay at the 2015 Pan American Games, U.S. swimmer Michael Weiss still had his fingers taped in Thursday morning’s preliminary heats of the 400 IM.
While USA Swimming has still not responded for clarification on what the appeal was and why it was successful, the implication is that the approval for the tape has since been received, either by Weiss specifically or by the Pan Ams staff.
According to FINA rules, only the FINA Sports Medicine Committee can approve “any kind of tape on the body,”
SW 10.8 No swimmer shall be permitted to use or wear any device or swimsuit that may aid his/her speed, buoyancy or endurance during a competition (such as webbed gloves, flippers, fins, power bands, or adhesive substances, etc.). Goggles may be worn. Any kind of tape on the body is not permitted unless approved by FINA Sport Medicine Committee.
While the rule doesn’t specifically allow for a meet referee or meet official to independently approve the tape, as one adept reader pointed out, it also doesn’t specify that the FINA Sports Medicine Committee most approve the tape before a race.
At any rate, Weiss swam the 400 IM with the tape, and took 2nd in his heat with a 4:17.96 to safely advance to finals. The top seed was his fellow American Max Williamson, who swam 4:17.92. There was a moment of trepidation after the race, as the in-house announcer of the meet said that “the results are not yet official,” implying a possible disqualification, but it was a Mexican swimmer who was disqualified on an unrelated infraction.