Andy Murray Comments on Rio 2016 Olympics Status and Zika Virus

Tom Sunderland@@TomSunderland_Featured ColumnistMay 30, 2016

Britain's Andy Murray reacts during his men's first round match against Czech Republic's Radek Stepanek at the Roland Garros 2016 French Tennis Open in Paris on May 23, 2016. / AFP / MIGUEL MEDINA        (Photo credit should read MIGUEL MEDINA/AFP/Getty Images)
MIGUEL MEDINA/Getty Images

Andy Murray, the reigning Olympic champion in men's singles tennis, has announced he'll seek medical advice on the Zika virus before making a definite decision on whether he'll defend his title at the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro this summer.

The Zika virus has caused a slew of high-profile athletes to reconsider their participation in this year's Olympic Games, and Murray told BBC Radio 5 Live he hasn't made up his mind yet, per BBC Sport.

Murray will face Richard Gasquet in the quarter-finals of the French Open on Tuesday.
Murray will face Richard Gasquet in the quarter-finals of the French Open on Tuesday.Dennis Grombkowski/Getty Images

"I will speak to a couple of doctors about it and see what their advice is," the Scot said. "I plan on playing for sure but don't know the exact situation there now. I need to get a little bit more information first before making a decision."

It's been a year since the mosquito-transmitted illness broke out in Brazil, which is "one of almost 60 countries and territories" that continue to report cases of Zika, according to the World Health Organization.

The loss of headlining athletes would be seen as a terrible blow to the South American showcase, and should Murray decide it isn't worth the risk to travel to Brazil, it's possible others could follow suit.

On May 4, MailOnline's Stuart Fraser passed along a report from the Associated Press on Murray's accommodation plans for Rio:

Chicago Bulls star Pau Gasol said Monday he's also considering whether to compete at Rio, per the AP, and BBC Sport reported golfers Marc Leishman, Adam Scott and Vijay Singh have already pulled out.

World tennis No. 1 Novak Djokovic, however, intends to take part, per BBC Sport: "For the moment, I'm planning to play. Nothing is changing. But let's see what happens."

Djokovic
DjokovicJulian Finney/Getty Images

As noted by BBC Sport, Zika is a mosquito-borne virus linked to "serious birth defects." Zika is of particular concern for pregnant women, though men can pass it to their partners, per the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Murray's wife gave birth to the couple's first child in February.