Greg Rutherford has sperm frozen over concerns about the Zika virus

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Long jumper Greg Rutherford has had his sperm frozen to stay extra safe against the Zika virus in Rio, says his partner. 

Olympic gold medallist and partner Susie Verrill would like children in the future and believe that taking such precautions are necessary. 

“The Zika news has caused no end of concern,” wrote Susie Verrill.

“We’ve made the decision to have Greg’s sperm frozen. It’s just another thing we don’t want to chance.” 

The mosquito-borne virus, which is related to serious birth defects, has been declared by the World Health Organization (WHO) as a global public health emergency. 

Verrill confirmed in an article for Standard Issue magazine that herself and son, Milo, will not attend the August Games. 

“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”, she wrote. 

Verill added: “Specialists still also don’t know the ins and outs of Zika, so even though it looks as though there’s no real issues should Milo get bitten, it’s just another thing we don’t want to chance.”

Rutherford is not the only one taking the Zika virus seriously ahead of the Games. 

Cyclist Tejay van Garderen and golfers Vijay Singh and Marc Leishman have already said they will not compete in the Rio Olympics because of Zika. 

The WHO last week stated that it would examine the risks of staging the Olympics in the Brazilian city. Over 100 leading scientists still believe that they should move or postpone the Games.


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First published on: 9 June, 2016 12:00 am