WSL plans relocation of 2016 Rio Pro

October 1, 2015 | Surfing
Barra da Tijuca: perfect and polluted | Photo: Smorigo/WSL

The 2016 Rio Pro will likely be relocated because of the severe pollution in the city's waters.

The World Surf League (WSL) is planning to move the contest site from Barra da Tijuca to a surf spot located further west. Health concerns rise, as the city of Rio de Janeiro prepares to host the 2016 Olympic Games next August.

"I don't recall another incident, at least in the last ten years, where we've had an issue with water pollution," Dave Prodan, the WSL spokesman, told Associated Press.

"If there is an issue, whether that's sharks in South Africa or water pollution in Brazil, the sport pivots off the recommendations of the surfers. If the issue involves the health and safety of our athletes, we don't have them out there."

The Brazilian WSL surfing stage has been running in Rio de Janeiro since 2011. A few weeks prior to the 2015 Rio Pro, the backup site of São Conrado was ruled out of the equation due to pollution issues.

The Rio 2016 Olympics will also feature a windsurfing competition. Sailors will battle for medals in Guanabara Bay, a venue with severe sewage pollution problems.

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