Rio triathlon overshadowed by doping and virus fears

Jonathan Watts – The Guardian, 8/2/2015

In the biggest test yet of preparations for the 2016 Games, hundreds of Olympic and Paralympic hopefuls swam, cycled and ran under the limpid blue skies of Copacabana over the weekend, but the glorious scenes were partly overshadowed by fears about water quality and new revelations of industrial-scale doping in international sport.

The triathlon qualifiers, which saw podium finishes for two UK athletes, came at the start of a week of competition and celebration as Rio de Janeiro moved into the final year of its countdown towards the opening ceremony next 5 August at the Maracanã stadium.

The festivities, however, have been marred by an exposé last week of the contamination of water at several venues, and Sunday’s report that a third of Olympic and world championship medals for endurance events in recent years were won by athletes who recorded suspicious doping tests. This included 10 golds won at London 2012.

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