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Nations react to the spread of Zika virus in Brazil ahead of 2016 Rio Olympics

The spread of the mosquito-born Zika virus in Brazil has concerned many countries participating in the forthcoming Olympics.

News 09 Feb 2016, 16:44 IST
The logos of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games and Rio 2016 Paralympic Games are pictured next to a message on a screen that reads "Message about Zika" during a media briefing in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, February 2, 2016. REUTERS/Ricardo Moraes

Sports authorities across the world are scrambling to find out more about the spread of the mosquito-borne Zika virus in Brazil as they make plans for August's Rio Olympics.

Below are the latest announcements:


Australia's Olympic Committee said no athletes have indicated they intended to withdraw, but it would "totally understand" if they did.


British Olympic Association Chairman Lord Sebastian Coe said none of the country's athletes were reluctant to go.

But British rower Andrew Triggs Hodge said his wife Eeke would not accompany him because of the "very real and frightening threat" posed by Zika.


Japan's Olympics Committee Chairman Tsunekazu Takeda said no athletes were thinking of "boycotting the Olympics."


Kenya threatened to pull its elite runners and other athletes out of the Rio Olympics unless it got assurances they would not be exposed.

"Obviously, we are not going to risk taking Kenyans there if this Zika virus reaches epidemic levels," said the head of Kenya's Olympics committee, Kipchoge Keino, himself a Kenyan running great.


New Zealand's Olympics Committee issued a warning to its athletes and officials of the risks.

Any competitors who decide to opt out would receive the committee's "absolute support", a committee spokeswoman said.


The United States Olympic Committee told sports federations that athletes and staff concerned for their health should consider not going to the Games.

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