London: Swiss tennis icon Roger Federer has said that “at no time” has he reconsidered his decision to compete in the Rio de Janeiro Olympic Games despite fears over the Zika virus.
Several star golfers, including world No.4 Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland, Australian Adam Scott and American cyclist Tejay van Garderen, have decided to pull out of the quadrennial extravaganza starting on August 5 due to the threat of the Zika virus.
The mosquito-borne virus has been linked to brain defects in newborn babies.
“Athletes who have decided not to participate have made a personal decision, but I have never reconsidered my decision,” the winner of 17 Grand Slam titles said on Saturday at the All England Tennis Club here before the start of the Wimbledon, scheduled to begin on Monday, according to Efe.
“I have never reconsidered my decision. I know I will play. I will try everything I possibly can to be there. For me, it’s always been a big deal, the Olympics,” he said.
Federer, 34, who won a gold medal in doubles in the 2008 Beijing Olympics and a silver medal in singles at the London 2012 Games, did not hide the fact that the Games are “always a priority” on his calendar.
“I’ll put mosquito spray on my body. I’ll take the precautions I have to,” he added.