Sailor who fell ill after Rio regatta feeling better

AP News
Posted: Sep 01, 2015 12:41 PM
Sailor who fell ill after Rio regatta feeling better

FRANKFURT, Germany (AP) — A German sailor who fell ill after competing in a pre-Olympic test event in the filthy waters off Rio de Janeiro says he is recovering from his skin infections.

Erik Heil needed daily hospital treatment for multiple infections on his legs and hip. The Berlin hospital where he was treated said he had contracted MRSA, a type of bacteria resistant to many antibiotics.

Heil believes he was infected while competing in a regatta in Marina da Gloria, where he says untreated sewage is allowed to flow into the water.

Heil is back at the Kiel Olympic sailing center in northern Germany.

"After being laid down flat last week, I am already feeling better," Heil said in a statement provided by his publicist, Sophie-Karolin Wehner.

Heil said the antibiotic he began using last week was working.

"I am sure I'll be able to get into water again next week to train," he said.

Rio's polluted waterways have been in the spotlight since the AP released an independent study on July 30 showing high levels of viruses from human sewage at all Rio Olympic water venues.

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The International Olympic Committee and local organizers have declined to test for viruses, arguing the World Health Organization requires only bacterial testing and lacks a standard for viruses.

Heil finished third with partner Thomas Ploessel in the 49er class at the competition in Rio last month.