Tower Guoman Hotel in London where Irish athlete Thomas Barr was staying during the IAAF World Championships
The Guardian reports:
The world athletics championships being held in London has been hit by an outbreak of norovirus, health officials have confirmed.
Public Health England (PHE) said it had been notified of about 30 cases of people associated with the event, London 2017, falling ill; two of those have been confirmed by laboratory tests as having the vomiting bug.
…The Tower hotel told the BBC that investigations in conjunction with health officers and the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) concluded the hotel was not the source of the illness.
“We have followed strict hygiene protocol, ensuring that those affected are not in contact with other guests and all public areas have been thoroughly sanitised,” the hotel said.
Botswana’s Isaac Makwala, a medal prospect in the 400m on Tuesday, was given medical dispensation to withdraw from the 200m heats after throwing up in the medical room.
Makwala would normally be scratched from the final after pulling out of another event. As he missed the heats on medical advice, however, he would be able to run, if fit.
A number of other athletes staying at the same hotel also have gastroenteritis, including the Ireland 400m hurdler Thomas Barr.
“I’m gutted to have to withdraw from the semi-final. My whole year has been focused on the world championships. To not be able to go out and compete for Ireland is beyond disappointing.”
Meanwhile, David Gillick, on RTE, reports:
The Irish race walkers are due to arrive on Thursday and plans are already in motion to try find alternative accommodation for them.
The reaction from the organisers has been swift and professional, though you do have to wonder what the response would be if this happened in Rio last year, where it seemed British media outlets were keen to jump on every little organisational imperfection.
Will they do the same when dozens of athletes’ championships have been ruined on their own turf?
Top pic: Jason Rosam