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Sailing official threatens to move Rio Olympic events from polluted bay


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Rio 2016 Olympic sailing events could be moved from Guanabara Bay if action isn’t quickly taken to clean the bay, an International Sailing Federation official said, according to The Associated Press.

“If we have to race all the races outside the bay, if that’s what it comes to, to ensure a fair regatta, then that’s something we’re going to explore and could do,” ISAF head of competitions Alastair Fox said, according to the AP. “We are going to review the situation and make some more recommendations -- demands is probably the right word -- to make sure things are done.”

In December, scientists said a “super bacteria” was discovered in Guanabara Bay, according to the AP.

In July, U.S. Olympic Sailing managing director Josh Adams said the unhealthy conditions of the bay had been “largely exaggerated for effect” by mainstream media, adding that the worst-case conditions of Guanabara Bay were in an area that won’t be used for Olympic competition.

Adams also said in July that US Sailing athletes took preventative measures before traveling to Rio for an Olympic test event in August, for a combination of the water conditions and general living in the Brazilian city.

“The bottom line is we’ve got to have a fair Olympics,” Fox said, “and make sure that our sailors are not at risk from health problems and there is fair racing.”

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