The virus has become a major concern ahead of Rio 2016. 

By SI Wire
June 16, 2016

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Pau Gasol is considering freezing his sperm in advance of the Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, should he choose to participate in the Games, because of his concerns about contracting the Zika virus.

“Freezing sperm is one of the measures I have to consider,” Gasol said, according to the Associated Press.

Gasol, 35, said last month that fear of contracting the virus could result in his sitting out of the Olympics rather than playing with the Spanish national team, which he has helped win silver medals in the past two Olympics. Gasol has still not decided whether he will play.

Zika is a mosquito-borne virus that can also be transmitted sexually, and has been linked to birth defects in children and neurological problems in adults. The virus has become prevalent in Brazil because of its tropical climate.

Several other athletes, including golfer Rory McIlroy and soccer players Hope Solo and Alex Morgan, have also expressed their fear of contracting the virus. Last week, Olympic long jumper Greg Rutherford said he would freeze his sperm before traveling to Rio.

The Games will begin on Aug. 5.

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