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A sewage-strewn beach in Rio de Janeiro has been struck off from the list of venues for the 2015 World Surf League in Brazil. Dave Prodan from the WSL said São Conrado beach had to be removed from its venue list “due to pollution issues”.

São Conrado, one of Rio’s most polluted beaches, is situated next to the more expensive Barra da Tijuca where competition will commence. São Conrado was in place as a backup should the first choice not be pumping during competition time and the decision by the WSL means there will be no failsafe should conditions not play ball.

In between the two beaches lies a number of favelas, much of the sewage and waste water flows directly from these slums into the sea. The situation has been compounded by a recent pipe burst in the area.

Rio’s water pollution has become a key issue heading into next year’s Olympics in the city

Rio’s water pollution has become a key issue heading into next year’s Olympics in the city. One of the games’ biggest legacies was a proposed clean-up of the waterways where the rowing and open-swimming events will be held. It seems little progress has been made and local and state authorities have acknowledged that the Olympic goals might not be met.

In his statement Dave Prodan was confident that Barra da Tijuca “will deliver excellent conditions” when the big guns of the WSL rolls into town next week. Competition time for the Oi Rio Pro runs from  11 – 22 May 2015.

Image credit: AP Photo/Matt Dunham

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