The water at the sprint canoe and rowing venue of the 2020 Tokyo Games is not up to Olympic standards, International Olympic Committee Vice President John Coates said on Wednesday.
Speaking at the IOC Session, Coates, chair of the Coordination Commission for 2020, called it a "high priority" for organizers to fix the problem at Sea Forest Way, a target of Tokyo Gov. Yuriko Koike's cost-cutting mission two years ago.
Tokyo already had a water quality problem on its hand when Odaiba Marine Park, the venue for the marathon swimming and triathlon, failed a test last October, and it appears the issue has spilled over into another venue.
"They did some testing in the water and the water quality isn't good enough," Coates told Kyodo News. "The problem in those sports is if you fall in the water and you've got a cut, you could (get infected).
"It has to be fixed; we had the same problem in Rio," the Australian Olympic Committee said, referring to the water in the diving pool that turned green. "It often happens in rowing courses but it's a high priority -- it's athletes' health."
Coates did not offer a specific solution for Sea Forest Way. But one potential solution, he said, being discussed for Odaiba is to draw layers of curtains to filter the water, which can become contaminated following the Japanese monsoon season in the summer.
IOC member and 2020 Coordination Commission vice chair Alex Gilady was equally concerned with Odaiba, saying they need to start drafting a backup plan in case water quality control becomes difficult or not possible.
"They are now looking to see what they can do to stop the flood in the heavy rain in the summer," Gilady said. "We need to create Plan B if this happens in 2020. So they are working on these options."
"But maybe the filter may not be enough if there is too much rain so we have to have Plan B."