Australian swim coach, Michael Bohl pulled his team Thursday, from the indoor Barra da Tijuca Rio Olympics Aquatic Center, over concerns of infection due to what he says was “cloudy” and “soupy” water.
Bohl’s team, which includes backstroke world champion, Mitch Larkin and butterflyers Emma McKeo and Grant Irvine, were moved three days prior to when they will begin competing.
“It started out nice but for some reason as the morning wore on the water got really soupy in that pool,” Bohl told reporters. “Rather than risk eye, ear or any other infection we brought them in here.”
“I just asked FINA officials then and they are working on it,” Bohl said.
According to Australian media group News Limited, Australian team officials will seek assurances from Olympic officials as to what measures will be taken to ensure the pool is clean.
The team moved to the main competition pool, where the Olympic races will take place, and seemed to be OK with this.
Australian athletes refused to move into the village on Sunday, with delegation head Kitty Chiller saying water leaks and electrical problems had ‘endangered’ athletes.
Bohl has been less than pleased with the preparedness of the Olympic venues, and he’s been vocal to the media about it.
“It's no Taj Mahal, it's no utopia but it's fine,' he told Daily Mail.
“It's almost like a camping thing. One day the hot water is not working and next day it is,” he adds.
Prior to Thursday, water quality issues at the Olympics had been limited to pollution problems in the Guanabara Bay, where the rowing, sailing, and open water swimming events will happen. The water is contaminated with raw sewage and is riddles with viruses and bacteria. Experts have told Rio athletes not to dip their head under the water.