LOUISVILLE, Ky. — (WHAS11)-The Ironman triathlon will be missing a primary piece when it kicks off on Sunday after Ironman and city officials decided to cancel the swimming portion of the event.

The Kentucky Division of Water and the Kentucky Department of Public Health issued a recreational public health advisory concerning the elevated harmful algal bloom (HAB) that are present in the Ohio River. The HAB advisory indicated that algal toxins had been found at various locations along the river and that swimming, wading, and other water activities were not recommended in those areas.

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“The Division very much appreciates the individual and collective investment in training and planning for this event, and has worked closely with event organizers in assessing the conditions of the river,” said Pete Goodmann, Director of the Kentucky Division of Water. “Unfortunately, algal toxins are present at unsafe levels in the river in the area of the event.”

Ironman has been working with Louisville Sports Commission and local partners to monitor the conditions of the river and conduct relevant tests to determine whether or not it is safe for athletes to participate in the swim portion of the upcoming Ironman Louisville triathlon.

Following the result of tests that were performed this week, Ironman and local city officials have determined that in the interest of athlete safety, it is necessary to cancel the swim portion of 2019 Ironman Louisville triathlon.

Athletes will be informed of race day procedures for the new bike-run event through additional communications. To see the event schedule, visit www.ironman.com/louisville.

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