Athletes taking part in water-based events at the Rio Olympics will have to deal with a lot more than fierce competition; they’ll also have to deal with the fierce sludge of human waste because there’s still a lot of sewage being dumped into the city’s waterways, and especially Guanabara Bay, USA Today reports.

“A giant pipe running from downtown churns human waste into the marina on Guanabara Bay at certain times each day. Rats roam around in the waste. The stench makes uninitiated visitors feel like vomiting or fainting,” USA Today’s Martin Rogers reported Tuesday, less than two weeks before the Games kick off on Aug. 5.

The waters not quite being up to snuff (and sniff) isn’t exactly a surprise. Last year, Rio Mayor Eduardo Paes conceded the city’s original plan to rid the waters of pollution wasn’t going to be met.

I think it’s a shame,” Paes said last March about the city’s inability to make the waters clean. “I think it’s a lost opportunity.”

Rio resident Luiz Goldfeld, who lives in a houseboat on the Bay, agrees. “There was a chance to make this place wonderful again, but they have wasted it. There was too much corruption and no political will to get it done.”

The city’s politicians and Olympic organizers started off in 2009 with a lofty goal in its bid for the Games. They pledged to remove and treat 80 percent of the sewage in the waterways by 2016. While that number hasn’t been met, some improvements have been made, according to officials.

“The situation has improved compared to what it was before, with the barriers and the boats and the pipes around Guanabara Bay,” said Christophe Dubi, the International Olympic Committee’s executive director.

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