August 10, 2015 / 9:52 PM / 4 years ago

Rowers ill after Rio rowing event, report says

RIO DE JANEIRO (Reuters) - Several rowers who competed at the world junior rowing championships in Rio de Janeiro at the weekend suffered from stomach complaints that could be caused by water pollution, the Associated Press reported on Monday.

Thirteen of the 40-member US team fell ill, the report said.

The championships were held at the same lagoon that will be used during the 2016 Rio Olympics and was considered a test event for the South America’s first ever Games.

However, water quality there, as well as in the seas where the sailing, triathlon and open water swimming events will be held, has been sharply criticised and authorities have admitted it will not meet its own targets for reducing the amount of sewage in the water.

Unsafe levels of viruses and bacteria were recorded in the water, according to an independent study commissioned by the AP and released last month.

Attempts to contact the U.S. team and Rio2016 officials were unsuccessful.

Reporting by Andrew Downie; editing by Justin Palmer

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