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Mayo Clinic

Olympic champ Aries Merritt, kidney transplant recipient, defies risk in seeking a berth at Rio

Olympic champ Aries Merritt, kidney transplant recipient, defies risk in seeking a berth at Rio

Aries Merritt has every reason to play it safe and turn down a berth at the Rio Games if he finishes in the top three in the 110-meter hurdles at the U.S. Olympic track and field trials. The doctors who extended his life by transplanting a kidney donated by his older sister, LaToya Hubbard, have made it clear they’d prefer him to stay home.

“They’re really concerned about the Zika thing,” he said, because the anti-rejection drugs he must take the rest of his life impair his body’s ability to fight infections. Zika, which hit epidemic stage in Brazil last year, is a blood-borne infection most often transmitted by...

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