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Water blamed for sailor's illness

RIO DE JANEIRO, Brazil — A Belgian woman who won bronze in 2012 became sick after racing on polluted Guanabara Bay, the first sailor reported to have fallen ill from the waters that were heavily scrutinized leading to the Games.

Evi Van Acker reported feeling sick after Wednesday's races, the governing body World Sailing said. Her poor performances have put her at risk of missing out on a medal in the Laser Radial class.

Her coach told a Belgian TV network that he believes Van Acker contracted a severe intestinal infection that causes dysentery while training in Rio de Janeiro in July. "Doctors say this can seriously disrupt energy levels for three months," Wil Van Bladel said Thursday. "It became clear (Wednesday) that she lacked energy during tough conditions. … The likelihood that she caught it here during contact with the water is very big."

Van Acker was evaluated by the chief medical officer after her races Wednesday and evaluated further by the Belgian medical team, World Sailing spokesman Darryl Seibel said. Thursday was a day off for the Laser Radial fleet.

The poor quality of Guanabara Bay was in the forefront of the buildup to the Olympics. An independent study by the Associated Press has shown high levels of viruses in the water as well as bacteria from human sewage.

Kenya doping scandal grows: A second Kenyan track and field official was expelled from the Olympics after he pretended to be one of the team's 800-meter runners and gave a doping sample in the athlete's name. John Anzrah, 61, was found with the Olympic accreditation card of Ferguson Rotich, 26, after he had provided a urine sample for a doping test and signed forms in the name of Rotich, Kenyan team leader Stephen Arap Soi said. Rotich, who finished fourth at last year's World Championships, was set to race in the heats as track and field begins today.

Water blamed for sailor's illness 08/11/16 [Last modified: Thursday, August 11, 2016 10:13pm]
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