Rio 2016: Jamie Murray's partner Bruno Soares says Zika 'bad excuse' for pull-outs

By Kheredine IdessaneBBC Scotland at Wimbledon
Murray unconcerned by Zika fears
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Jamie Murray's doubles partner Bruno Soares says it is "just a bad excuse" for Olympians to pull out of Rio because of fears over the Zika virus.

Several top golfers, including world number one Jason Day and Rory McIlroy, have withdrawn because of concerns.

But Soares, who plays with Murray in a Wimbledon doubles quarter-final on Wednesday, played down the issue.

"For me it's just a bad excuse from the athletes. We all know it's not that bad," the Brazilian told BBC Scotland.

"We had, I think, 15,000 athletes already in Rio - zero athletes got the virus.

"If you go to Brazil and see the people, we're not changing our lifestyle or anything. We're just trying to stop that [the Zika virus]. It's just a problem we've been having but it's not the end of the world right now."

The Zika virus, which is mosquito-borne, has been linked to defects in newborn babies and has led to calls that the Games should be moved from Rio.

But Olympic chiefs and the World Health Organisation have issued guidance for athletes and visitors to Rio, adding that the risk of catching Zika is low.

"We do have a lot of problems in Brazil," Soares acknowledged. "I don't think any of the problems are going to damage the Olympic experience we're going to have there.

"I think they've just got to focus on the positive part of it. Rio is one of the most beautiful cities in the world. The people are very, very happy to have the Olympics there, to welcome all the athletes. It really would be nice if all the people just concentrate on the positive side of the Games."

'It's going to be a great Games - Murray'

Murray, who along with brother Andy has been named in Britain's tennis squad for Rio, is happy to take the advice issued to Team GB athletes by the British Olympic Association.

"I'm going," he told BBC Scotland. "Of course there are issues. I'm sure a lot of it is built up in the media as well, but we're getting information from the right people at the BOA and we trust what they're saying, their judgement.

"I'm sure it's going to be a great Games, a great Olympic experience for all the athletes and I'm excited to be a part of it."

Murray and Soares play French pair Julien Benneteau and Edouard Roger-Vasselin on Wimbledon's Court 18, around 13:00 BST on Wednesday, after coming through a five-hour epic to reach the last eight.

Wimbledon 2016: Jamie Murray & Bruno Soares win doubles marathon

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