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Potec: Ministry of Health continues to ban competition athletes in pools, president opens beaches

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Camelia Potec

The President of the Romanian Swimming and Modern Pentathlon Federation (FRNPM) Camelia Potec told AGERPRES on Thursday that she is "shocked" and "upset" and feels like crying because the Ministry of Health continues to ban competition athletes from training in chlorine-treated swimming pools due to the coronavirus pandemic, while President Klaus Iohannis announced that beaches will be open from June 1 and implicitly everyone's access to the sea.

"I had a meeting today at the Ministry of Health and, unfortunately, I am shocked and upset by what is happening. I asked there why competition athletes cannot have access to swimming pools, with strict hygiene rules, but others will be able to swim in the sea, where there is no chlorinated water, there are no rules, where a wave can hit you and contact between people is very possible. (...) Five minutes after I left the ministry meeting, I learned that President Iohannnis had announced the opening of the beaches as of June 1. So the Ministry of Health tells us that swimming is very, very dangerous, because the virus is easily transmitted through water, and at the same time the president opens the beaches. Some say one thing, the president says something else," Potec told AGERPRES.

"I feel like crying because even if I accept the argument that the virus is transmitted very easily through water, it would seem normal for this rule to apply to everyone. (...) So athletes cannot train in pools but if they want, as the president said, from June 1 they can go to sea to have contact with water. (...) Basically, the message of the authorities for competition athletes is at the moment: "You are not allowed into pools, but go to the sea if you want to swim.'' But I am telling the athletes not to do that, to hold on for two more weeks and to prove that they are champions. And this even if the authorities practically cut them off from this right to practice competition sports," added Potec.

The 2004 Athens Olympic champion hopes this is not a matter of ill-will on the part of the authorities, but only poor communication between the Ministry of Health and the Presidency.

The swimming pools could open for athletes starting June 15, but only after the Romanian Swimming and Modern Pentathlon Federation brings documents and evidence that competition swimmers are already training in pools in other European countries.

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