Beijing Pollution's Effect? It's Unclear

David Bebber / News International / Zuma

Fears that Beijing's awful air would hinder performances might have been dispelled by the way the swimmers pulverized world records. But the real test of the city's pollution controls will come when endurance athletes race outside in Beijing's hot, humid and polluted air. There have been casualties already: more than a third of the cyclists competing in the 152-mile (245 km) men's road race Aug. 9 dropped out, in part because of conditions so stifling that one rider compared it with racing at 10,000 ft. (about 3,000 m)--on a course that topped out at 1,083 ft. (330 m). Olympians in Beijing...

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