SYDNEY, Australia June 28 – World number one Jason Day on Tuesday became the latest golfer to withdraw from the Rio Olympics because of fears over the Zika virus.
“It is with deep regret I announce that I will not be competing in the 2016 Summer Olympic Games this coming August in Rio de Janeiro,” Australia’s Day said in a statement.
“The reason for my decision is my concerns about the possible transmission of the Zika virus and the potential risks that it may present to my wife’s future pregnancies and to future members of our family.”
The 28-year-old father-of-two joins the likes of Northern Ireland duo Rory McIlroy and Graeme McDowell both down to compete for Ireland, Fiji’s Vijay Singh, Marc Leishman of Australia and South Africa’s Branden Grace in announcing his intention not to compete at the Games starting on August 5.
The threat of the mosquito-borne virus, which can lead to birth defects, has been cited as the reason for withdrawal by a number of golfers, as the sport returns to the Olympics for the first time since 1904.