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World sailing's governing body to start testing for viruses in venue for Rio Olympic sailing

  • A doll's head floats in the polluted waters of a canal at the Mare slum complex in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Friday, July 31, 2015. In Rio, much of the waste runs through open-air ditches to fetid streams and rivers that feed the Olympic water sites and blight the city's picture postcard beaches. (AP Photo/Leo Correa)

    A doll's head floats in the polluted waters of a canal at the Mare slum complex in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Friday, July 31, 2015. In Rio, much of the waste runs through open-air ditches to fetid streams and rivers that feed the Olympic water sites and blight the city's picture postcard beaches. (AP Photo/Leo Correa)  (The Associated Press)

  • A triathlete trains in the waters off Copacabana Beach, despite published warnings that water in the area was "unfit" for swimming, in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Friday, July 31, 2015. Athletes said that the conditions of the water appeared better than they were expecting. But water experts and the government's own pollution monitoring officials all note that sewage pollution typically isn't something that can be seen by the naked eye. (AP Photo/Felipe Dana)

    A triathlete trains in the waters off Copacabana Beach, despite published warnings that water in the area was "unfit" for swimming, in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Friday, July 31, 2015. Athletes said that the conditions of the water appeared better than they were expecting. But water experts and the government's own pollution monitoring officials all note that sewage pollution typically isn't something that can be seen by the naked eye. (AP Photo/Felipe Dana)  (The Associated Press)

  • A discarded ball floats on the water in a canal at the Mare slum complex  in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Friday, July 31, 2015. In Rio, much of the waste runs through open-air ditches to fetid streams and rivers that feed the Olympic water sites and blight the city's picture postcard beaches. (AP Photo/Leo Correa)

    A discarded ball floats on the water in a canal at the Mare slum complex in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Friday, July 31, 2015. In Rio, much of the waste runs through open-air ditches to fetid streams and rivers that feed the Olympic water sites and blight the city's picture postcard beaches. (AP Photo/Leo Correa)  (The Associated Press)

The governing body of world says sailing it will start doing its own independent testing for viruses in Rio's Olympic waters after an Associated Press investigation showed a serious health risk to athletes competing in venues rife with raw sewage.

Peter Sowrey, the chief executive of the governing body ISAF, said he wants to know what's in the water "from a virus perspective as well as a bacteria perspective."

He says the AP investigation of water pollution in the Olympic city helped "wake us up again and put this back on the agenda."

The sailing venue in Rio's Guanabara Bay is badly polluted, as is a separate venue for rowing and canoeing — the Rodrigo de Freitas lake — in central Rio. The AP investigation also showed venues for triathlon and open-water swimming off Copacabana Beach are filled with bacteria and viruses that pose a threat to athletes and tourists.