When golf makes it’s return to the Olympics in Rio de Janeiro later this year, it will do so without Jason Day who has withdrawn over fears of the possible transmission of the Zika virus.
Day is the sixth high-profile player to pull out because of concerns over Zika, following fellow Australian Marc Leishman, Fiji’s Vijay Singh, South Africa’s Branden Grace and Northern Ireland pair Rory McIlory and Graeme McDowell.
A number of other top players, including major winners Adam Scott of Australia and South Africa’s Louis Oosthuizen, have already pulled out for scheduling and family reasons.
Day’s full statement regarding the matter reads as follows:
“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.
“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.
“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 to my family.
“My wife Ellie and I have been blessed with two wonderful and healthy children and our plan is to have more.
“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.
“I have informed coach Ian Baker Finch and Stephen Pitt the CEO of Golf Australia of my difficult decision. I hope all golf and Olympics fans respect and understand my position. In closing, I would like to thank all of those who have supported me throughout my career and extend my best wishes to all participants. Especially the entire Australian Olympic Team as they pursue their dreams in Rio de Janeiro.”