Senator Patty Murray, a democrat from Washington, has sent a letter to the International Olympic Committee asking for the governing Olympic body to protect its athletes competing at the Summer Games in Rio de Janeiro next week.
“As you know, the U.S. Olympic Committee is independent and not an agency of the United States government, and I am not writing to you at the request of the U.S. Olympic Committee. However, as the Democratic leader of the U.S. Senate Committee on Heath, Education, Labor and Pensions, I have oversight responsibility over public health. As such, I am deeply concerned about the dangerous levels of water contamination in Rio de Janeiro’s Olympic arenas.”
The letter expresses concerns over the water situation that some athletes will encounter at the beaches and recreational sites. About 1,400 athletes will participate in a sport that involves water.
The full letter can be read below:
Reports surfaced in June that scientists found dangerous drug-resistant “super bacteria” off the beaches in Rio. The sewage-infested waterways were also deemed unsafe.
The city vowed to clean the waterways as one of the promises in the 2009 bid document that allowed for them to become the first South American Olympic host. With a week to go until the opening ceremonies, Brazil has fallen short of that goal.