Delhi Commonwealth Games officials are investigating whether water in the aquatic facilities caused 15 swimmers on the England and Australian teams to be hit by a stomach virus.
English competitor Fran Halsall collapsed after receiving a medal while Olympic gold medallist Rebecca Adlington caught the stomach bug less than 24 hours ahead of her 800-metres freestyle final.
Halsall was too unwell to complete the 100m butterfly semi yesterday and had to be pulled from the pool and led away to be sick. England team doctor Ian Gordon said: “She is just one of quite a few who have gone down with this.”
This morning, Halsall appeared pale and washed out after being sick again, telling the BBC: “I don’t think I’m very well to be honest. I had tummy issues last night and they carried on through today. I just didn’t have anything to give and I just don’t feel very well.”
The stomach problems suffered by the Commonwealth teams were initially thought to be ‘Delhi Belly’, however it is now suspected that the cause is the quality of water at the aquatics center in New Delhi.
Commonwealth Games Federation president Mike Fennell said officials will investigate the matter urgently and conduct tests on all pools.
The outbreak of stomach virus among the athletes is the latest setback for the Games, which have been overshadowed by concerns over security, hygiene at the athletes village and the state of facilities.
Last minute work was being done on the running track in the main stadium just hours before races began to repair damage caused during the extravagant opening ceremony.
Unsurprisingly, the poor publicity has affected attendance to this year’s Commonwealth Games and thousands of tickets are expected to be given away free to children and poor residents of the city in a bid to fill the empty stadiums.
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