More than a dozen swimmers from Australia and England have become ill at the Commonwealth Games in New Delhi, India - the latest setback for trouble-plagued organizers, and one that has led to increased usage of the phrase "Delhi Belly." British media reported Thursday that 20 percent of the English team's swimmers - about eight to 10 competitors - have been struck with a stomach virus, while the Australian team confirmed at least six of its swimmers have been sick. According to the Associated Press, organizers rejected speculation that the water quality at the Dr. S.P. Makherjee Aquatic Complex was to blame.
Craig Hunter, the head of England's delegation, issued a statement saying he had received assurances from the Games' organizing committee that the safe. Nevertheless, Commonwealth Games Federation president Mike Fennell said officials would conduct tests on both the main pool and the warmup pool at the aquatic facility. "I'd be surprised if it was the pool, because chlorine has an amazing ability to kill just about anything that we have ever created," said five-time Olympic champion Ian Thorpe, who has retired from swimming and is working the Games as a television commentator for the BBC. And pool announcer Kurt Hanson, brother of former Australian Olympic swimmer Brooke Hanson, told spectators at the facility that "the way these athletes train, their immune system is so low that they tend to pick up any bug that is going around."
Whether it was the water or just a case of "Delhi Belly" - which isn't uncommon for visitors to India - it was yet another problem to plague an event that has seen construction delays, pre-Games complaints about filthy conditions in the athletes' village, allegations of corruption, concerns about security and outbreaks of mosquito-borne dengue fever.
The Commonwealth Games are slated to run through Oct. 14.