World number one golfer Jason Day will not represent Australia at the 2016 Rio Olympics, becoming the latest high-profile athlete to withdraw.
Day released a statement on his Twitter account on Tuesday outlining his withdrawal.
“The reason for my decision is my concerns about the possible transmission of the Zika virus and the potential risks that it might present to my wife’s future pregnancies and to future members of our family,” he said.
“I have always placed my family in front of everything else in my life. Medical experts have confirmed that while perhaps slight, a decision to compete in Rio absolutely comes with health risks to me and my family. My wife Ellie and I have been blessed with two wonderful and healthy children and our plan is to have more,” Day said.
“While it has always been a major goal to compete in the Olympics on behalf of my country, playing golf cannot take precedent over the safety of our family. I will not place them at risk.”
Adam Scott and Marc Leishman have already pulled out, with Leishman voicing similar fears. Their withdrawal leaves Scott Hend, Marcus Fraser or Matt Jones in the running to represent Australia, with the decision to be made before a July 11 cut-off.
Golf is returning to the Olympics for the first time since 1904. – Emma Kamil.
Photo of Jason Day celebrating his win at the Arnold Palmer Invitational in March from the PGA Tour Facebook Page.