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Official issues Rio 2016 sailing warning

GUANABARA Bay could be stripped of hosting Rio 2016 Olympic sailing events if action isn' t taken to clean the venue's polluted waters, an International Sailing Federation (ISAF) official has warned.

Government officials have vowed 80% of waste flowing into the bay will be treated ahead of the Games, but there are growing concerns about the slow progress of clean-up work.

"If we have to race all the races outside the bay, if that's what it comes to, to ensure a fair regatta, that's something we' re going to explore and could do," ISAF head of competitions Alastair Fox said.

"We are going to review the situation and make some more recommendations -- demands is probably the right word -- to make sure things are done."

Last month Rio mayor Eduardo Paes said that if necessary people would be employed to manually retrieve rubbish and waste from the bay before the Games.

According to Paes the Olympic sailing course will avoid areas most affected by sewage and rubbish.

The 2016 Games, to be held August 5-21, will be the first time the Olympics are staged in South America.


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