Unsafe levels of E. coli bacteria found in the Seine River in Paris Unsafe levels of E. coli bacteria found in the Seine River in Paris

Unsafe levels of E. coli bacteria found in the Seine River in Paris

Unsafe levels of E. coli bacteria found in the Seine River in Paris

Weeks before the Seine River was scheduled to hold swimming competitions during the Paris Olympics, its water contained unsafe high levels of Escherichia coli bacteria, according to test results published Friday.
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A threat facing athletes at the 2024 Paris Olympics
Contamination levels in the first eight days of June, after persistent heavy rains in Paris, showed that bacteria such as E. coli and enterococci exceeded the limits considered safe for athletes.

Monitoring group Eau de Paris published the report a day after a senior IOC executive said there was "no reason to doubt" that the races would be held as scheduled in a historic district of the Seine city center near the Eiffel Tower.

The first Olympic event on the Seine after it was cleaned is a men's triathlon, including a 1.5 km (less than one mile) swim, on the morning of 30 July. The women's triathlon takes place the next day, and the mixed relay event takes place on 5 August.

Marathon swims over 10 kilometers (6.2 miles) for women and men are scheduled for August 8 and 9, respectively, in waters that were historically polluted before a $1.5 billion investment ahead of the Olympics.

“We are confident that we will swim the Seine this summer,” Christophe Dube, an IOC official, said Thursday in an online news conference after hearing the Paris update from city officials and Olympic organizers.

Despite the confidence expressed publicly by the IOC, the final decision on approving safe events for athletes should rest with the governing bodies of individual sports, World Aquatics and World Triathlon.

The safety of the Seine water during the Olympics has been in doubt since some test events scheduled for last August were cancelled, also after unseasonably heavy rains.

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