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Olympics

U.S. and int'l sailing officials said that there "is no evidence that abnormal levels of viruses or bacteria in the water caused rowers competing in Rio de Janeiro at the weekend to fall ill," according to REUTERS. Thirteen members of the 40-member U.S. team "fell ill after the world junior championships, a test event for next year's Olympics in Brazil." U.S. officials confirmed that 15 members took ill, but said that "that was not unusual in international events and it was too early to blame dirty water." US Rowing CEO Glenn Merry said, "It would be easy but irresponsible for us to immediately assume that the rowing course is the main or sole point of exposure that caused the illnesses." Merry added that U.S. rowers "often took ill abroad and said the fact that coaches also got sick in Rio was an indication water might not be the problem." Canadian officials said that "not one of their 24 athletes and support staff were sick." Rowing Canada Aviron High Performance Dir Peter Cookson said, "We are pleased to report that during the time the team has been here, we have had zero incidences of illness" (REUTERS, 8/11).

Japanese PM Shinzo Abe "apologized publicly for squandering billions of yen in public funds on plans for the new National Stadium." The government faces a bill for around ¥6.2B ($50M) after Abe "ordered the original plans to be torn up amid mounting public anger over the stadium’s cost." Abe: "As a result of the decision to go back to the drawing board, precious public funds have been spent. I apologize deeply to the people of Japan" (JAPAN TIMES, 8/11). ... Officials from the IOC "are visiting Rio de Janeiro to determine the state of progress in preparations for next year's Games." The local organizing committee for the 2016 Olympics and Paralympics "briefed the visitors, explaining the current situation with infrastructure construction and recently launched test events" (NHK WORLD, 8/10).