Greg Rutherford has had his sperm frozen ahead of the Rio Olympics due to fears over the Zika virus.
The gold medalist has decided that, before he heads to the Games to defend his long jump title, he will freeze his sperm to ensure that he and his partner can have more children without worrying about the Zika virus’ potential effects. The mosquito-borne virus has been associated with birth defects and developmental problems in infants.
“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,” Rutherford’s partner, Susie Verrill, said. Neither Verrill nor the couple’s son, Milo, will attend the Games due to Zika concerns.
Rutherford is far from the only Olympic athlete who has raised concerns over the Zika virus. American cyclist Tejay van Garderen, as well as golfers Vijay Singh of Fiji, Louis Oosthuizen and Charl Schwartzel of South Africa, and Australia’s Marc Leishman and Adam Scott, have all decided not to participate because of the disease’s prevalence in Brazil. CNN reports that South Korea’s athletes will be wearing tracksuits “infused with insect repellent” throughout the Games to keep mosquitoes at bay