Rory McIlroy withdraws from Rio Olympics Games citing health fears over Zika virus

Golf returns to the Olympics in August for the first time since 1904, but a number of big names including Fiji`s Vijay Singh and Charl Schwartzel of South Africa have also said they will not compete in the event.

AFP| Updated: Jun 22, 2016, 16:08 PM IST
Rory McIlroy withdraws from Rio Olympics Games citing health fears over Zika virus

London: Four-times Major winner Rory McIlroy will not compete in this summer`s Rio Olympic Games, citing health fears over the Zika virus, he said on Wednesday.

"After speaking with those closest to me, I`ve come to realize that my health and my family`s health comes before anything else. Even though the risk of infection from the Zika virus is considered low, it is a risk nonetheless and a risk I am unwilling to take," the Northern Irish world number four said.

Golf returns to the Olympics in August for the first time since 1904, but a number of big names including Fiji`s Vijay Singh and Charl Schwartzel of South Africa have also said they will not compete in the event.

Controversy over the Aug.5-21 Games has grown as more about the disease becomes known. The mosquito-borne virus can cause crippling birth defects and, in adults, has been linked to the neurological disorder Guillain-Barre.