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Pau Gasol says he wants to play in Rio Olympics for Spain despite Zika

Pau Gasol Spain

Catherine Steenkeste

MADRID (AP) — Chicago Bulls star Pau Gasol says he wants to play in the Rio de Janeiro Olympics despite concerns over the Zika virus.

The 35-year-old center announced in an article for Spanish newspaper Marca on Saturday that he’s available for the Spanish national team in what will be his fourth Olympics.

Gasol said last month he was considering not playing in Rio because there was too much uncertainty about Zika. He later said he was considering freezing a sperm sample.

The mosquito-borne disease has been linked to severe birth defects in infants born to infected women.

Two-time silver medalist Gasol called Zika “a serious issue” and said it was his duty to make people aware of it.

Pau Gasol is a free agent this summer but will try to have a destination and contract signed long before the Olympics start Aug. 5.