St Andrews, Scotland: Next year`s Rio Olympics may have to do without Tiger Woods, IOC chief Thomas Bach said Saturday, as the former world number one struggles with his game.
Golf returns to the Olympics in Brazil and much has been made of big-name, highly-paid professional golfers teeing off in the multi-sport event.
Bach said he had no problem with that aspect as long as they were "the best athletes" in their sport.
"With Tiger Woods, I had the opportunity to speak to him earlier this year in the States when I met him at the skiing world championships," he said.
"I asked him about Rio and talked to him that I would like to welcome you next year to Rio and then he already said, I would love to play, and I will do everything to qualify, but I`m not sure whether it will work.
"Seeing what`s happening here, unfortunately maybe he was right, so I would really feel sorry for him, but this would in no way influence the quality of the Olympic tournament."
Bach was referring to Woods struggling once more to make the cut in a major tournament, having gone home early at last month`s US Open.
With play suspended at St Andrews, he was five over with six holes to play in his second round and needing a minor miracle to reach the last 36 holes.
Bach, on a visit to the Open Championship, said that the Olympics in the past had absorbed big-name sportsmen without a problem, citing the US Dream Team at the 1992 Barcelona Olympics.
"There, the NBA players, they were coming and they were insisting of having a special hotel for them, renting whole floors of the hotel and then when they were playing they made a tour through the Olympic Village.
"Then we asked them how they think about this and they said it was a great tournament, that we would like to come back definitely for the next games, but we have one condition ... and the condition was to stay in the Olympic Village in the future."