The international swimming federation has called for virus testing in water which will be used at next year's Olympics, citing health concerns for athletes. Until recently, games organizers insisted viral testing was not necessary, despite an independent five-month analysis by The Associated Press showing dangerously high levels of viruses from human sewage at all Olympic water venues in Rio de Janeiro. The AP study showed that the area where athletes will enter the water on Copacabana Beach for marathon swimming and triathlon events had a minimal reading of more than 2 million human adenovirus per liter - 2,000 times the reading that water experts in the U.S. say would be considering highly alarming if seen on beaches in America.
"FINA and its Sports Medicine Committee strongly recommend that viral tests should also be performed," says a FINA letter addressed to games organizers and Rio mayor Eduardo Paes, and obtained by the AP. Last month the WHO's top water expert, Bruce Gordon, told the AP the WHO recommends viral testing in Rio's Olympic waters.
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