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Body parts wash up near Rio triathlon start line

Copacabana beach, Rio de Janeiro.
Copacabana beach, Rio de Janeiro.

We’re closing in on a month before the Rio Olympics, but things aren’t looking up for organizers as more bad news about the games made headlines late last week. Several weeks ago, we reported on the contaminated waters with a human arm seen floating near Olympic venues in Guanabara Bay. At the time, reports said that the Copacabana waters (where triathlon is set to take place) were in much cleaner condition. This isn’t the case anymore, as mutilated body parts were found washed up on the shores of Copacabana Beach, near the site of the triathlon start line and the beach volleyball venue.

According to news sources, police found a foot and other body parts washed up on the famous beach last Wednesday. The news comes just weeks after reports of deadly gun battles in Rio’s slums. Killings in Rio increased to 2,036 in the first four months of 2016, compared to 1,818 for the same period in 2015.

In addition to the continual financial difficulties and issues with government workers’ unpaid wages, the ongoing problems surrounding venue cleanliness mean that Rio organizers are under extra pressure leading up to the opening ceremonies on August 5th.

Some athletes are choosing to be extra careful when it comes to competing in Rio. American triathlete and medal-hopeful Sarah True told ESPN in March that she won’t be swimming in the Copacabana waters before the event and is aware of the risk of getting sick after the event.

The Olympic triathlons take places on August 18th for men and August 20th for women. Canada named its Olympic triathlon team last week, with Kirsten Sweetland leading a team of five other first-time Olympians .

With files from Reuters and the Independent.