Greg Rutherford Freezes Sperm Due to Rio Olympics Zika Virus Fears

By Aatif Sulleyman on at

Rio 2016 is going to be fascinating for all the wrong reasons. British athlete Greg Rutherford -- you know, the one everyone swears is a dead ringer for Neil Patrick Harris -- has decided to have his sperm frozen ahead of this year’s Olympic Games because of the Zika virus.

The long jumper’s partner, thermal socks Susie Verrill, revealed the news this week, adding that neither herself or their son Milo will travel to Brazil to watch him. "The Zika news has caused no end of concern," she wrote in a Standard Issue piece. "We've made the decision to have Greg's sperm frozen. It's just another thing we don't want to chance.”

Something’s gone wrong when Qatar is allowed to turn the World Cup into a winter competition when it should never have been awarded the the competition in the first place, but the Rio Olympics can neither be postponed or rescheduled on the advice of doctors around the world.

"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,” Verrill added. “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."

The Zika virus has been linked to a rise in serious birth defects, with thousands more babies than usual born with skull and brain deformations since last October. The worry for potential parents is that not all Zika infections result in symptoms being displayed in adults. You can find out more about the Zika virus here. [BBC]

Image: Robbie Dale via Flickr