Ex world Sailing CEO Peter Sowrey claims he was fired after wanting to take health precautions concerning the sailing venue set for the 2016 Olympic Games. After learning about the conditions of the set venue, Guanabara Bay, Sowrey was determined to have the venue changed or at least have a plan B for the event.
Guanabara Bay is a very important ecosystem in Rio, located in the city and is overlooked by the historic Christ the Redeemer monument. But over the past two years, the bay has been heavily polluted by sewage, garbage and even oil spills. Urbanization is another factor causing problems with the Guanabara Bay, now sewage pipes from millions of residents living in the area are running into the bay untreated.
Out of concern for the Olympic athletes, Sowrey suggested the event be moved to a different location; Buzios, which is located approximately 100 miles from where the main Olympic action will take place. According to NBC Sport, in an interview with the Associated Press, Sowrey said, “The board felt I was way too aggressive, they basically voted me out. I didn’t resign. The board finally told me to leave.”
In response to these accusations, World Sailing told insidethegames.biz, “Sowrey resigned of his own accord and that it was for reasons nothing to do with water pollution.” They went on to say, “World Sailing continues to work in close partnership with the Rio 2016 Organising Committee and the International Olympic Committee to ensure that the venue is suitable to provide an outstanding Olympic Sailing Competition.”