Date: June 20 2012
Swimming Australia has relocated Olympic swimming star James Roberts from his residence at the Australian Institute of Sport campus in Canberra as it tries to contain an outbreak of whooping cough.
But Roberts and his squad, which also includes Olympic-bound Alicia Coutts, will continue to train at the AIS pool despite Swimming Australia cancelling a meet that had been scheduled for the Australian Olympic team at the same venue this weekend.
Water Polo Australia has confirmed two members of the Australian women’s Olympic team — Melissa Rippon and Nicola Zagame — have been diagnosed with Pertussis, commonly known as whooping cough.
All members and officials of the water polo team, currently on camp at the AIS, have been tested for the illness.
Water Polo Australia issued a statement saying Rippon and Zagame had been isolated to mitigate the risk of infection for athletes, staff and the public. The pair are expected to return to full training by next week.
Meanwhile, AIS swimming coach John Fowlie confirmed Roberts — the closest rival to James Magnussen in the 100m freestyle — had been relocated to an apartment away from the AIS campus as a precautionary measure.
But Roberts and Coutts will continue to train at the AIS, in a separate pool complex to the one being used by the women’s water polo team.
‘‘It’s been set up as a high performance centre so the only people who train in our pool are the AIS [swim] team,’’ Fowlie said.
‘‘We’ve got 15 people in that pool and besides that it’s a closed secure facility without any public access to it. We’ve been on contact with our doctors and been advised by them, we’re happy and confident that we’re taking all the necessary precautions.’’
Fowlie said his squad was not taking any risk by continuing to train at the AIS and would continue to be advised by medical staff.
‘‘From what I understand it’s a three-week incubation period, where you might not necessarily be showing symptoms,’’ Fowlie said. ‘‘Our [AIS] doctors are sitting down with the Olympic team doctors and they’ll advise us exactly on what further precautions we need to take. If that’s immunisation or testing, we’ll get all that done in the next 24 hours.
While the entire Olympic squad will stay away, Fowlie said the AIS squad planned to go ahead with time trials at the AIS this weekend.
‘‘This is what getting ready for an Olympics is all about. There’s always going to be little things that come up. It’s about keeping things moving forward, staying calm and going about your business.’’
Swimming Australia’s head coach Leigh Nugent said the decision to cancel this weekend’s meet was purely precautionary.
‘‘Originally we'd planned to have this camp as an opportunity to come together for some further relay preparation and the chance for some of the athletes to race and time trial, a month or so out from the Games,’’ Nugent said.
‘‘From a relay perspective we are confident we're on track with our preparations and will fine tune things when we get to Manchester in July. As for the racing side of things, I'm sure the individual coaches will arrange time trials if they see fit to replicate that preparation.’’
The Aussie swimmers will assemble for a camp in Manchester from July 14 before heading to London on July 22.
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