Simona Halep, Thomas Berdych, Milos Raonic latest stars to ditch 2016 Rio Olympics citing Zika threat
Brazil has been most affected by the mosquito-borne virus that has spread rapidly through Latin America and the Caribbean.
Johannesburg: Women`s world number five Simona Halep has withdrawn from the Rio Olympics citing concerns over the Zika virus, just an hour after Wimbledon runner-up Milos Raonic pulled out of the global spectacle due to the same reason.
The 24-year-old Romanian wrote on her Facebook page, "I regret to announce that I have decided I will not compete in the Olympic Games. The reason for my decision is the concern regarding the danger posed by the Zika virus.
"The 2014 French Open finalist said that she had taken this decision `after several talks with doctors and my family`, while insisting that she couldn`t jeopardize her future family planning, Sport24 reported.
"I know the Olympics are a very important event and I truly regret these circumstances. I hope the Romanian Olympic and Sports Committee and all Romanians will respect my decision," she added.Tennis players such as John Isner of the United States, Austria`s Dominic Thiem, Australian duo of Bernard Tomic and Nick Kyrgios as well as Spanish veteran Feliciano Lopez have withdrawn from the global spectacle citing various reasons.
Brazil has been most affected by the mosquito-borne virus that has spread rapidly through Latin America and the Caribbean. It is known to cause the head-shrinking microcephaly and other birth defects.
Meanwhile, Golf, which is making its return in Olympics after a century-long absence, has lost its sheen following the withdrawal of the sport`s top four players - Jason Day, Jordan Spieth, Rory McIlroy and Dustin Johnson.