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August 29, 2015

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German sailor treated for infections after Rio test

GERMAN sailor Erik Heil, who was third at the Rio De Janeiro Olympic test event this month, is being treated for infections which he says were caused by the polluted waters during the sailing regatta there.

The Brazilian metropolis will host the 2016 summer Games but it is struggling with polluted waters on which the athletes will compete.

Heil, who won third spot along with Thomas Ploessel in the 49er class, was told by the Berlin hospital treating him daily that he had been infected by multi-resistant germs, the German sailing team said.

“I have never in my life had infections on the legs. Never!” Heil said on the sailing team’s Olympic blog. “I assume I picked that up at the test regatta. The cause should be the Marina da Gloria where their is a constant flow of waste water from the city’s hospitals.”

Recent privately commissioned tests of the water quality revealed a high level of disease-causing viruses.

The waters along Rio’s Atlantic coast have been polluted for years and successive governments have spent hundreds of millions of dollars on attempted clean-ups to little effect. “We will try to arrive relatively late to Rio in the future so that any illness appears towards the end of the regatta or even when we are back home,” Heil said. “We are also considering with Thomas to sail out of the marina with plastic covers and then wear our normal neopren shoes further out on the water,” Heil said.


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