September 27- Officials at Loch Lomond Shores have launched a bid to take over from the algae-ridden Strathclyde Park as hosts of next year's Commonwealth Games triathlon event.
The Great Scottish Swim had to be cancelled in 2010 and 2012 due to the high levels of naturally occurring blue-green algae at Strathclyde Park, which had led to competitors falling ill at a previous event.
A total of 80 per cent of the people who took part in an open-air swim in the Loch fell ill with sickness, stomach cramps and diarrhoea, with some testing positive for the norovirus vomiting bug.
Loch Lomond stepped in to host the Great Scottish Swim this year when Great Event organisers decided to move the event due to the present algae.
"The Great Scottish Swim on Loch Lomond was an amazing success, with 2,000 swimmers taking part, and hopefully there will be more next year," Loch Lomond Shores manager Clare Gemmell told the Lennox Herald.
"It would seem that the Loch could more than cope with hosting the Commonwealth Games triathlon.
"How wonderful would it be if Loch Lomond got to be the venue for this?
"Not only would it be a great improvement in terms of water quality, but it would also be an opportunity to showcase Glasgow and Scotland at its best.
"How many places can have such wonderful scenery so close to a major city?
"Instead of visitors watching the triathlon to the backdrop of the M74 and M&D's [theme park], they could be sampling truly majestic Scottish hospitality, landscapes and the real 'Scottish Stage'."
In March this year, it was revealed that North Lanarkshire Council and the Scottish Government would invest £600,000 ($970,000/€715,000) each to ensure that Strathclyde Park is able to host triathlon at Glasgow 2014, with a £400,000 ($650,000/€475,000) temporary dam, which they hope will resolve the issues and make it fit for use.
A Glasgow 2014 spokesman told the Lennox Herald: "Blue/green algae is a problem in a majority of UK water spaces and the bacteriological issues at the Loch have been exacerbated by increasing incidences of extremely heavy rainfall over the past few years."
He also reiterated that the actions taken will "ensure Strathclyde Loch meets international standards".
North Lanarkshire Council were unavailable for comment.
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February 2013: Great Scottish Swim 2013 moved from Strathclyde Loch over pollution fears