Tennessee and Virginia have withdrawn from a scheduled triangular with Michigan over concerns about waterborne illnesses at the Michigan pool.
We’re told by the Michigan athletic department that a few Michigan team members came down with illnesses last week, and the program adjusted its practice schedule to stay out of the pool while the water was tested and cleaned. While the school says the pool has been tested and deemed safe for competition, the Tennessee and Virginia programs have elected not to travel to Michigan for the competition.
Here’s the full statement from Michigan’s athletic department:
Earlier today, we were informed by both Tennessee and Virginia that they will be pulling out of this weekend’s scheduled meet due concerns over pool safety.
The health and safety of all competitors is always our top priority. Following previous reports of a common waterborne illness, we collaborated with the University of Michigan Environment, Health and Safety (EHS) office on a thorough set of procedures to test and clean the water at Canham Natatorium.
Last Thursday (Oct. 10), EHS deemed the pool safe to use and the teams returned to normal training. On Tuesday (Oct. 15), following two independent lab tests, EHS reaffirmed that Canham Natatorium was safe for competition.
Due to the schedule change, the swimming and diving program will host an intrasquad at 5 p.m. on Friday (Oct. 18) at Canham Natatorium.
While Michigan did not say what the contamination was, a notice posted on the school’s recreation department website that said a swimmer disagnosed with Cryptosporidiosis had used “one or more” aquatics facilities during the month of August to October. Cryptosporidiosis is an infection where small parasites enter the body, travel to the small intestine, and burrow in the walls of the intestines.
The meet was set to be the marquee matchup of the weekend, featuring three top-10 women’s programs and two top-15 men’s programs. Michigan says it will host an intrasquad matchup instead.
We asked Michigan last week, when rumors of problems with the pool safety swirled, for more information, and at the time they did say that “a few team members did come down with an illness,” and that the pool was given a shock chlorine treatment for 12 hours. While the team was out of the pool, they were doing more dryland practice and were using alternate local pools to train.