Should Sailing Olympics Remain a Drug Free Sport?

user-79913-96Glenn McCarthy is a lifelong sailor and consummate blogger. He mostly writes about sailing in Lake Michigan a body of water he calls Chicago’s most unused park.

But now he has taken up a new cause and is trying to rally support for sailors competing in the sailing events in the 2016 Olympics.

The problem he is keen to highlight is that Guanabara Bay, the area near Rio de Janeiro, Brazil where sailing will take place is so badly polluted that it will cause a danger to the health of competitors to say nothing of the lifelong damage it may do to the future of sailing in general

McCarthy suggests that The Summer Olympic Games have an audience reach of over 3,000,0000,000.  Add in the sailing media reach comprising magazines, newsletters, websites and blogs, and he estimates the figure could be close to 5,000,000.

McCarthy worries that the public’s opinion of sailing after the 2016 Olympics are over will have been marred by “seeing sailing take place in an open sewer, with dead animals, bodies, TVs and trash everywhere.”

algae-pollution-lake-china_9602_600x450He reports that the Olympic Industry including the IOC, ISAF, Member National Authorities, and sailors themselves are showing no concerns about making a location change.  Despite the fact that the ISAF did recently recommend moving all events into the open ocean, which still leaves the sailors using the marina inside the bay and having to traverse the bay through the pollution to get back and forth to the courses.

He points out, “The United States Sailing Association and United States Olympic Committee have recommended that our athletes take prophylactic antibiotics and immunizations in order to compete in sailing in a sewage filled bay”

“But how,” asks McCarthy “Does taking drugs lie beside the The Olympic / Paralympic Movement philosophy making it clear that drugs are not a part of the Olympics and Paralympics ethos?”

It seems there is more to clean up than just the putrid waters of Guanabara Bay