IOC: Beijing Air Risky for Athletes

Competitors in endurance events
By Nick McMaster,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 17, 2008 6:51 PM CDT
A migrant worker walks past the under construction leaning tower of the new China Central Television (CCTV) headquarters building shrouded with air pollution in Beijing, China, Wednesday, March 12, 2008....   (AP Photo/Andy Wong)
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(Newser) – The air quality in Beijing poses a “possible risk” to athletes in endurance events, the International Olympic Committee announced today. After analyzing data collected in Beijing in August, the IOC’s medical commission concluded that most competitors won't be affected by the smog, but it will monitor air quality throughout the Games and reschedule events if the pollution is too dangerous, the Washington Post reports.

The focus is on events that involve at least an hour of continuous physical exertion, including the marathon, triathlon, race walking, urban road cycling, mountain biking and marathon swimming, the Post reports. China has said it would close factories and highways around the time of the games to keep pollution down.