Wales

Sport Wales plays down Zika concerns after warning letter

Rio Olympics Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption The 2016 Olympics in Rio is the 31st edition of the Olympiad

An open letter which said it is "unethical" for the Olympic Games to go ahead in Brazil in light of the Zika virus has been played down.

Sport Wales' director of elite performance Brian Davies said it may "scare a few athletes", but official advice remains unchanged.

The letter to the World Health Organization recommends postponing or moving the Games from Rio.

It says efforts to eradicate mosquitoes with the virus have failed.

The Zika virus is linked to severe birth defects.

Between February and April, Brazil registered more than 90,000 likely cases of Zika. The number of babies born with Zika-linked defects stood at 4,908 in April.

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Media captionSport Wales' elite performance director said Welsh Olympic athletes' main focus was being picked

Mr Davies said the letter was "unfortunate timing" but changed nothing.

"We will take our advice from the key organisations that we work with," he said.

"As long as that advice doesn't change, then our athletes can consider themselves in a safe environment."

He added that Welsh athletes had not come to him with any concerns over the virus.

"They're focussed on trying to be picked in the first place," he said.

"And if they are concerned, they will put faith in the organisations that are designed to take and bring them back from the Games safely."

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