Rutherford has sperm frozen due to Zika fears


Olympic long jump champion Greg Rutherford has had samples of his sperm frozen ahead of the Rio Olympics, due to ongoing concerns about the Zika virus.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) insisted last month that there was "no public health justification" for cancelling the Games, after an open letter signed by more than 100 health experts urged the global body to "reconsider its advice" following new scientific findings regarding the mosquito-borne virus, which is prevalent in Brazil and linked to serious birth defects.

Writing in the Standard Issue magazine, Rutherford's partner, Susie Verrill, confirmed Zika had caused "no end of concern" to the couple, who already have one child, Milo.

Confirming she will not travel to Rio with her young son, Verrill wrote: "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.

"We've also made the decision to have Greg's sperm frozen. 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.

"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."

A host of athletes have expressed fears over Zika in the lead-up to the Games, which take place in August.