IF YOU'RE a swimmer in next year's Summer Olympics and Paralympics in Rio de Janiero, you might have to put up with a lot of crap.
According to water-analysis testing commissioned by the Associated Press, the waters in the "Marvelous City" are rife with raw sewage.
"It's all the water from the toilets and the showers and whatever people put down their sinks, all mixed up," said John Griffith, a marine biologist at the Southern California Coastal Water Research Project. "And, it's going out into the beach waters. Those kinds of things would be shut down immediately if found [in the United States].
Swimmers who compete in open-water events could be infected, as could athletes competing in sailing, canoeing and crew.
According to the AP tests, not one of the three water venues that will be used was found to be safe. On the contrary, four rounds of testing found high levels of human adenovirus, rotavirus, enterovirus, and fecal coliforms. Unbelievably, some tests found levels up to 1.7 million times what is acceptable for beaches in the U.S.
Makes Andy Dufresne's 300-yard sewer-pipe escape in "The Shawshank Redemption" seem downright sanitary.
Mario Moscatelli, a biologist and longtime critic of Rio's cleanup efforts, had this to say about the issue:
"For years now, we've seen the flow of raw sewage, which contains fecal coliforms and other bacteria, viruses, protozoa and an infinite number of pathogenic microorganisms that can cause everything from ringworm to hepatitis."
But not to worry.
Yesterday, Rio's state environmental agency released a statement saying the water was safe. And Dr. Richard Budgett, medical director for the International Olympic Committee, said that despite the AP results the IOC and Brazilian authorities won't change their testing methods.
So, c'mon in, the water's fine.
Kind of reminds us of that sleazy mayor in "Jaws" telling people there are no sharks in the water.