London - Romanian player Simona Halep said she may pull out of playing at the Rio Olympics due to her concerns over the Zika virus.
In an interview with Reuters after her first round win at
Wimbledon on Monday, Halep said her concerns about going to Rio was due
to the very limited information available with regard to the Zika virus.
"I have to research this virus because it's not easy to get all the information," Halep told Reuters.
"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
"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"It's dangerous for the ladies and many sportsmen have withdrawn from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
The 24-year-old is not the only sportsperson to have fears of
contracting the virus, which in pregnant women can cause a birth defect
that can lead to developmental problems in babies and can also cause
Guillain-Barre, a rare neurological syndrome that causes temporary
paralysis in adults.
So far some leading golfers have pulled out of the Rio Olympics due
to Zika virus fears, including, Rory McIlroy, Vijay Singh, Adam Scott,
Charl Schwartzel and Louis Oosthuizen.
Halep will next be in action at Wimbledon when she faces Francesca Schiavone of Italy in the second round on Wednesday.