Six cyclists at Norway's Fredagsbirken race poisoned after mistaking Omo clothing detergent for a sports drink

Organisers said competitors were warned against storing the bottles near their drinking water

Six cyclists in Norway were taken to A&E on Friday after they drank clothing detergent which they had mistaken for an sports energy drink.

The Fredagsbirken event of the Birken race held in Rena, near the Norwegian capital of Oslo was interrupted several times as the cyclists were rushed to the emergency ward of a nearby hospital after they were poisoned.

Lilleborg, the manufacturers of the 'Omo Aktiv & Sport' clothing soap, had given each competitor a free sample of their product along with their starting numbers before the race, newspaper Hamar Arbeiderblad reported according to The Local

Race organisers stressed that the samples were clearly labelled and cyclists were warned against storing the liquid with their drinking water.

After the six riders fell ill, signs were put up next to the bottles reading: “Warning Do Not Drink!! It’s soap”. 

On Friday, Norwegian journalist Dag Erik Pedersen tweeted a sarcastic photo of a bottle identical to those which the cyclists drank from, with the caption: "The new sports drink".

 

Realising why the riders had fallen ill, the race organisers contacted Norway’s poison information service, who advised that drinking around a decilitre of detergent is not dangerous. The service added that a patient will feel uncomfortable for a time, Jo Gunnar Ellevold, the head of Birken, told the VG newspaper.

Ingunn Rønningen Kleven, a spokeswoman for the Birkebeiner, told the NTB news agency: “Since this clothes washing detergent is especially developed for training clothes, we thought it would be relevant to give it to our contestants.”

Following the incident, Lilleborg have said they will “re-evaluate” their packaging to avoid more poisonings.

Anne Gjemdal, head of information at Lilleborg, told NTB: “We thought it was obvious from the label that it is a detergent, but considering what has happened, we will re-evaluate if the labelling is good enough. The product is labelled according to strict regulations.”

Gjemdal added: “We are deeply sorry that people have mistakenly thought 'Omo' was a sports drink. We hope those affected [by the misunderstanding] are well taken care of.”

News
Russell Brand was in typically combative form during his promotional interview with Newsnight's Evan Davis
peopleReports that Brand could stand for Mayor on an 'anti-politics' ticket
News
The clocks go forward an hour at 1am on Sunday 30 March
news
Arts and Entertainment
The Doctor finds himself in a forest version of London in Doctor Who episode 'In the Forest of the Night'
TVReview: Is the Doctor ever going stop frowning? Apparently not.
News
Voluminous silk drawers were worn by Queen Victoria
newsThe silk underwear is part of a growing trade in celebrity smalls
PROMOTED VIDEO
Life and Style
ebooksA superb mix of recipes serving up the freshest of local produce in a delicious range of styles
Life and Style
ebooksFrom the lifespan of a slug to the distance to the Sun: answers to 500 questions from readers
Sport
footballMatch report: Real fight back to ruin Argentinian's debut
News
Candidates with surnames that start with an A have an electoral advantage
newsVoters are biased towards names with letters near start of alphabet
Arts and Entertainment
Isis with Lord Grantham (Hugh Bonneville)
TV
Arts and Entertainment
Jay James
TVReview: Performances were stale and cheesier than a chunk of Blue Stilton left out for a month
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Food & Drink

    Junior Application Support Engineer (ERP / SSRS)

    £23000 - £30000 per annum + pension, 25days holiday: Ashdown Group: An industr...

    IT Systems Analyst / Application Support Engineer (ERP / SSRS)

    £23000 - £30000 per annum + pension, 25days holiday: Ashdown Group: An industr...

    SCRUM Master

    £30 - 50k (DOE) + Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking a SCRUM Master to joi...

    Franchise Support Assistant

    £13,520: Recruitment Genius: As this role can be customer facing at times, the...

    Day In a Page

    Wilko Johnson, now the bad news: musician splits with manager after police investigate assault claims

    Wilko Johnson, now the bad news

    Former Dr Feelgood splits with manager after police investigate assault claims
    Mark Udall: The Democrat Senator with a fight on his hands ahead of the US midterm elections

    Mark Udall: The Democrat Senator with a fight on his hands

    The Senator for Colorado is for gay rights, for abortion rights – and in the Republicans’ sights as they threaten to take control of the Senate next month
    New discoveries show more contact between far-flung prehistoric humans than had been thought

    New discoveries show more contact between far-flung prehistoric humans than had been thought

    Evidence found of contact between Easter Islanders and South America
    Cerys Matthews reveals how her uncle taped 150 interviews for a biography of Dylan Thomas

    Cerys Matthews on Dylan Thomas

    The singer reveals how her uncle taped 150 interviews for a biography of the famous Welsh poet
    DIY is not fun and we've finally realised this as a nation

    Homebase closures: 'DIY is not fun'

    Homebase has announced the closure of one in four of its stores. Nick Harding, who never did know his awl from his elbow, is glad to see the back of DIY
    The Battle of the Five Armies: Air New Zealand releases new Hobbit-inspired in-flight video

    Air New Zealand's wizard in-flight video

    The airline has released a new Hobbit-inspired clip dubbed "The most epic safety video ever made"
    Pumpkin spice is the flavour of the month - but can you stomach the sweetness?

    Pumpkin spice is the flavour of the month

    The combination of cinnamon, clove, nutmeg (and no actual pumpkin), now flavours everything from lattes to cream cheese in the US
    11 best sonic skincare brushes

    11 best sonic skincare brushes

    Forget the flannel - take skincare to the next level by using your favourite cleanser with a sonic facial brush
    Paul Scholes column: I'm not worried about Manchester United's defence - Chelsea test can be the making of Phil Jones and Marcos Rojo

    Paul Scholes column

    I'm not worried about Manchester United's defence - Chelsea test can be the making of Jones and Rojo
    Frank Warren: Boxing has its problems but in all my time I've never seen a crooked fight

    Frank Warren: Boxing has its problems but in all my time I've never seen a crooked fight

    While other sports are stalked by corruption, we are an easy target for the critics
    Jamie Roberts exclusive interview: 'I'm a man of my word – I'll stay in Paris'

    Jamie Roberts: 'I'm a man of my word – I'll stay in Paris'

    Wales centre says he’s not coming home but is looking to establish himself at Racing Métro
    How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?

    A crime that reveals London's dark heart

    How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?