Monday 5 December 2016

World number one Novak Djokovic plans to compete at Rio Olympics despite zika virus fears

Published 29/05/2016 | 11:04

Novak Djokovic
Novak Djokovic

Novak Djokovic admits he is concerned by the Zika virus but is planning to play at the Olympics and feels cancelling the Games would be "unthinkable".

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More than 100 leading scientists signed an open letter to the World Health Organisation, saying it was unethical for the Olympics to go ahead in Rio amid the outbreak of the disease.

The WHO is continuing to advise that Zika, which is linked to thousands of babies born with birth defects in Brazil, is not a reason to move or postpone the Games.

World number one Djokovic said: "Somebody has passed me the information that a significant amount of scientists have come up with a statement that it's not safe.

"Honestly, I don't know what to think any more. But I need to get informed more so I can speak more in detail about it, because for the moment I'm planning to play the Olympics. Nothing is changing.

"But let's see what happens. To even think to cancel the Olympic Games is unthinkable, honestly. I mean, many athletes and people already planned in advance and so many people already planned their trips and accommodation in Rio."

Serbian Djokovic, currently competing in the French Open, added: "Of course we have to have common sense that health is the most important for anybody that is there. But we should not only think about people coming to Rio. How about those people living there? Not talking about them too much.

"So I think we have to look from different perspectives in order to make a right conclusion."

Press Association

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