Bryan brothers pull out of Rio Games citing health concerns

Sat Jul 30, 2016 4:01pm EDT
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(Reuters) - Americans Bob and Mike Bryan, the most successful doubles team in men's tennis history, have pulled out of the defense of their title at the Rio Games saying their family's health is their top priority.

"After countless hours of deliberation Mike and I have decided to forego the Rio Olympics," the pair wrote on their Facebook page on Saturday.

"Though we'd love to compete again, as husbands and fathers, our family's health is now our top priority."

Many athletes have withdrawn from the Olympics over concerns about the mosquito-borne Zika virus linked to birth defects in newborn babies and possible neurological problems in adults.

The Bryan brothers are both married and Bob has three children. The pair won Olympic gold at the London 2012 Games and own 112 titles together, including 16 grand slams.

"Representing Team USA is one of our proudest tennis moments to date and winning Gold in 2012 will always remain the pinnacle of our career," the brothers added.

"The Olympics means so much to us for so many reasons and the memories we have wearing the Stars and Stripes will burn brightly forever.

"Thank you to the USTA (United States Tennis Association) for the nomination and to our fans for their unwavering support."

Amiable off court, a well-oiled machine on it, the Bryans have carried men's doubles for more than a decade.   Continued...

Aug 9, 2015; Washington, DC, USA; Mike Bryan attempts to hit forehand as partner Bob Bryan looks on against Ivan Dodig and Marcelo Melo (both not pictured) in the men's doubles final of the 2015 Citi Open at Rock Creek Park Tennis Center. The Bryans won 6-4, 6-2. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports