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Thousands of dead fish found at Rio Olympic sailing venue

Europe
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Rio de Janeiro (dpa) - Several thousand dead fish have been discovered in recent days in the area designated for the sailing competition at the summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, news reports said Wednesday.

The lifeless fish washed up in various places in Guanabara Bay, the sailing venue for the Games, which start in August.

Experts from the state environmental authority in Rio de Janeiro tested the water and determined there was a high degree of pollution, the news portal Terra reported.

Tests conducted in recent months had repeatedly shown high levels of pollution, including viruses and poisonous materials.

A type of sardine was one of the worst-affected in the sudden fish kill. As many as 2 tons of fish have been found.

The famous bay in the shadow of Sugarloaf Mountain is scheduled to be the venue of the sailing competitions although it is often smelly, and contaminated with sewage and other pollution from ships travelling toward the harbour.

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has announced its own water testing in advance of the opening of the first Olympic Games in South America. Many sailors fear health consequences could develop from contact with the water.

Mayor Eduardo Paes has previously refused a proposal to transfer the sailing events to the region of Buzios, 190 kilometres north of Rio.

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