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Mar 30, 1999

HONG KONG - The FINA Bureau in meetings held March 29-30 announced a series of new initiatives as follows:

FINA Coaches Commission
During their meeting on March 29, the FINA Bureau aproved in principle the recommendatio of the FINA Executive to create a FINA Coaches Commission. The final proposal will be presented for approval at the next Bureau meeting to be held in Kuwait, in October 1999.

The host for the 10th FINA World Championships (swimming, diving, water polo, synchronized swimming, and open water swimming) to be held in 2003 has been awarded to Barcelona, Spain over bids from Montreal, Canada and Long Beach, USA.

The host for the 5th FINA World Swimming Championships (25 m) has been announced as Moscow. Also in the running was Taipei.

All the documents prepared by the candidate cities concerning the organisation of these events will be distributed by the FINA Secretariat. No FINA Bureau Member has been allowed to visit the propsed sites. During March 28-29 the bidding cities hosted exhibitions of their proposal for inspection by Bureau Members under conditions established by FINA. On March 30, each delegation had 30 minutes before the Bureau in which to make their presentation. Voting by secret ballot among Bureau members took place following thr presentations and the result announced at 15h00 on March 30.

FINA has confirmed its collaboration to help the HG 2000 group in its research on the detection of Growth Hormones. For this purpose, during the FINA 4th World Swimming Championships (25 m) from 1-4 April 1999 in Hong Kong, blood tests will be made only with the swimmer's approval. The results of the test will remain strictly confidential for research purposes only.

FINA announced that with the introduction of semi-finals General Rule 10.9.1 regarding the attribution of points during FINA swimming competitions with semin-finals. Since B finals have been eliminated, points will be awarded only to the first eight swimmers in the finals in each event.

The FINA Bureau appointed Bureau Member Sam Ramsamy as Media Spokesman for FINA.

A FINA press conference will be held at 15h00 on March 31 concerning the Extraordinary Congress on the new FINA rules against doping.