The International Olympic Comittee (IOC) is still concerned about the water pollution in Rio de Janeiro barely one year before it hosts the Olympic Games, IOC president Thomas Bach said on Monday.
Rio de Janeiro had originally pledged to reduce pollution in the notoriously fetid Guanabara Bay by 80 percent, but officials confirmed in March that the target would not be reached.
Instead, they are now concentrating only on parts of the bay where sailing competitions are to take place, although they have insisted that these areas would be safe.
“We can see significant progress, at the same time we have asked the organizing committee to convey our concerns with regard to the issues of the water quality we are still facing in Rio,” Bach told reporters.
“The IOC executive board is watching this situation very closely and we are expecting more information and more reports by the time of our next meeting, next month in Kuala Lumpur,” Bach said.
“We are approaching major test events in August and we all need to see progress in this regard,” Bach said.
“I’m not an expert in water pollution, we have to leave it to the experts to tell us what is achievable, and in which time frame,” he said.
“These experts are telling us it is still achievable to have these competitions in safe water conditions and we have been advised today from the local organizing committee that this advice has not changed,” Bach added.
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