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Rio 2016: No viral testing of sewage-filled Olympic waters

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RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) -- A spokesman for Rio de Janeiro’s Olympic organizing committee has ruled out conducting viral tests of the city’s human sewage-laden waterways.

Mario Andrada says the World Health Organization has determined bacterial tests are sufficient to determine the safety of Rio’s Olympic waters.

Speaking Friday at a news conference, Andrada said he considered the WHO’s recommendation the “final instructions for Rio 2016.”

The question of whether to conduct viral testing has been a hot-button issue since July, when The Associated Press released the results of an independent study showing dangerously high levels of viruses from human sewage at all Rio Olympic water venues for sailing, rowing, canoeing, triathlon and distance swimming.

Viral testing is much more costly and difficult than bacterial testing.

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