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Rio 2016: Organisers threaten to move events out of polluted bay


According to an Associated Press investigation, levels of raw sewage pose a serious health risk to athletes.

A course inside the bay was closed for a test event because of floating waste.

“If we can’t get the water to a level, then we’ll move it to the Atlantic Ocean,” said International Sailing Federation’s chief Peter Sowrey.

Three of the courses earmarked for the Olympics are in the bay and three are in the Atlantic, with up to 1,400 athletes set to compete in water sports at the Games.

South Korean windsurfer Wonwoo Cho was taken to hospital during the week-long test event on Thursday, with his coach Danny Ok claiming the cause was “probably from the water” at Guanabara Bay.

“We are not happy as a federation from the reporting on the water,” Sowrey said. “We’re not getting the reporting we expected to get.”

Sowrey added that otherwise the test event had gone “pretty well” from an operational viewpoint.

Sailors in Guanabara Bay have reported seeing pollution including furniture and floating animal carcasses.

According to the AP investigation, the Rodrigo de Freitas lake, which will host rowing and canoeing, is also badly polluted.

Nearly 70% of sewage in the Brazilian city is spilled raw into its waters.

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