Tennis: Halep could pull out of Rio because of Zika fears

Mon Jun 27, 2016 4:01pm EDT
 
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By Pritha Sarkar

LONDON (Reuters) - Romania's top tennis player Simona Halep could pull out of the Rio Olympics because she is "very worried" about the effects of the Zika virus.

"I have to research this virus because it's not easy (to get all the information)," Halep, a runner-up at the French Open in 2014, told Reuters in an interview after reaching the second round at Wimbledon on Monday.

"I've asked many doctors (about Zika) and I have to speak to doctors again after this tournament.

"I've heard that even if you are not pregnant at the moment and you get the virus, when you get pregnant it (the virus) will activate. I'm very worried."

U.S. health officials have concluded that Zika infections in pregnant women can cause microcephaly, a birth defect marked by small head size that can lead to severe developmental problems in babies.

The World Health Organisation has said there is strong scientific consensus that Zika can also cause Guillain-Barre, a rare neurological syndrome that causes temporary paralysis in adults.

"I am planning to go (to Rio) but I have to make sure it is safe there and I am safe there. When I play tennis, my health is the most important thing," added the world number five.

"It's dangerous for the ladies and many sportsmen have withdrawn from Rio for this same reason. It's a real dilemma when it's about your health, so I cannot say anything now for sure (whether I will pull out or not)."   Continued...

 
Britain Tennis - Wimbledon - All England Lawn Tennis & Croquet Club, Wimbledon, England - 27/6/16 Romania's Simona Halep celebrates after winning her match against Slovakia's Anna Karolina Schmiedlova REUTERS/Tony O'Brien