Dozens of swimmers have been left with diarrhoea after they competed at the World Triathlon Championship Series.
Around 2,000 people took part in the sea swimming events held in Sunderland last weekend which included a swim off of the northern city’s blue flag Roker beach.
But at least 57 swimmers fell ill with sickness and diarrhoea with British Triathlon confirmed “some participants” had been poorly and left running to the loo, reports The Mirror.
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Australian triathlete Jake Birtwhistle posted on Instagram saying: "Have been feeling pretty rubbish since the race, but I guess that's what you get when you swim in s***.
“I wasn't feeling great in the individual race so decided to save myself for a good relay leg.
“Some positives to take away leading into Paris in 2 weeks, but the swim should have been cancelled."
Other athletes responded to Mr Birthwhistle’s post, with one saying: “At least I know what got me and a bunch of other athletes who raced sick and ill.”
Another wrote: “That now explains why I spent Monday night with my head in the toilet after racing Sunday morning!”
Now, the UK Health Security Agency has said that it would be testing samples from those who fell sick as a part of their investigation into the outbreak.
However, questions were raised after a sampling from Roker beach, by the Environment Agency, on Wednesday, July 26, just days before the event, showed E Coli levels 39 times higher than typical readings.
But British Triathlon claimed that the sampling was taken from outside the body of water where the competitions took place and its own testing had passed the necessary thresholds for the event to go ahead.
In their full statement, British Triathlon said: “British Triathlon and World Triathlon are aware of illness among some participants following AJ Bell 2023 World Triathlon Championship Series Sunderland.
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“We have communicated with participants regarding the situation and we will continue to work with Sunderland City Council and the UK Health Security Agency North East (UKHSA North East) in line with their routine processes to establish further information.”
The Guardian reported that the stretch of coastline had long lay at the heart of a heated battle between campaigners and Northumbrian Water over pollution.
Whilst campaigners point the finger at them, the water company insist that they have not discharged into the water in any way that might “negatively impact water quality at Roker” since October 2021.
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