The comments by Ayman Saad, the managing director of the UAE swimming federation, come as investigators try to pinpoint the cause of death for the 26-year-old Crippen in the race on Saturday.
The event was held in waters reaching above 86 degrees F off Fujairah, about 60 miles east of Dubai.
Saad said Crippen's body was found with swimming goggles in place, suggesting he went down in "one second" in the World Cup event. He said that open-water swimmers normally remove their goggles immediately when are fatigued or in trouble.
"It's not normal ... I think he pushed himself too much," he said.
USA Swimming said it will open its own investigation.
Crippen, from suburban Philadelphia, was found about 400 yards from the finish, organizers said.
USA Swimming executive director Chuck Wielgus said his group plans to ask FINA to review and improve open-water safety precautions.