World Championships: Ireland team change London hotel after norovirus outbreak

Barr began feeling unwell shortly after qualifying from the heats on Sunday
Thomas Barr was forced to pull out of his 400m hurdles semi-final in London on Monday
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Irish World Championship athletes scheduled to stay at the London hotel at the centre of a suspected norovirus outbreak are to move to another hotel.

Irish 400m hurdler Thomas Barr is among athletes from several countries who stayed at the hotel, who picked up the vomiting bug.

Athletics Ireland said the country's remaining competitors in London had yet to arrive in the British capital.

"They will be put in alternative accommodation," said Athletics Ireland.

"Athletes who have finished competing already have been offered a flight home to protect their health.

"Athletics Ireland's medical team has been in constant contact with the IAAF medical team and have implemented all appropriate protocols to protect the health of the Irish athletes.

"Thomas Barr is the only Irish athlete who has been affected."

Hotel 'not the source of the illness'

Public Health England says 30 athletes and support staff have been affected, with two cases confirmed as the bug.

Botswana's leading 400m contender Isaac Makwala says he is "ready to run" in Tuesday's final despite being withdrawn from the 200m heats after vomiting.

German and Canadian athletes staying at the Tower Hotel fell ill last week while a further 30 Germans due to arrive on Tuesday will be moved to other hotels.

A Local Organising Committee (LOC) statement said: "There have been a number of cases reported by team members residing within one of the official team hotels.

"Those affected have been supported by both team and LOC medical staff. In addition we have been working with Public Health England to ensure the situation is managed and contained.

"As a result, further advice and guidelines have been issued to team doctors and support staff."

The Tower Hotel said investigations conducted with environmental health officers and the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) had shown the hotel was "not the source of the illness". That has also been confirmed by Public Health England.

The hotel added: "We have followed strict hygiene protocol, ensuring that those affected are not in contact with other guests and all public areas have been thoroughly sanitised."

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