Rio 2016 Olympics: Long jump champ Greg Rutherford freezes sperm amid Zika fears

Athletes from the British triathlon team have also been prevented from going outdoors after dusk, because of fears of the virus.

By: Reuters | Updated: June 8, 2016 1:17:55 pm

Rio 2016 Olympics, Rio Olympics 2016, Rio 2016, Rio Olympics, Greg Rutherford, Rio Olympics Zika, Zika Rio Olympics, Sports, Sports News Greg Rutherford’s partner said the couple had taken the precaution because they wanted to have more children. (Source: Reuters)

The Zika virus outbreak in Brazil has led Britain’s Greg Rutherford to have his sperm frozen before heading out to defend his long jump title at the Rio Olympics.

Zika, a mosquito-borne virus that is spreading in Brazil, can cause crippling birth defects and developmental problems in babies.

Rutherford’s partner Susie Verrill, who will not attend the Games with their young son, said the couple had taken the precaution because they wanted to have more children.

READ: Charl Schwartzel says Zika kept him out of Rio Olympics; Jason Day wary

“The Zika news has caused no end of concern,” she wrote in the Standard Issue magazine.

“We’d love to have more children and, with research in its infancy, I wouldn’t want to put myself in a situation which could have been prevented.

“We’re not ones to worry unnecessarily, but after more than 100 medical experts stressed the Games should be moved to prevent the disease from spreading, this was a huge factor in us choosing to stay put.”

READ: WHO emergency panel to meet in June on Zika Virus and Rio 2016 Olympics

Athletes from the British triathlon team have also been prevented from going outdoors after dusk, because of fears of the virus.

“If you stand outside at dusk, mosquitoes will start congregating so we are not doing that. We will be indoors,” performance director Brendan Purcell told British media.

READ: Gustavo Kuerten’s advice to nervous athletes: Go to Rio Olympics

US cyclist Tejay Van Garderen withdrew from the Games last week, over concerns that the outbreak could present risks for his pregnant wife.

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