Milos Raonic and Simona Halep have become the latest athletes to pull out of the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro next month due to concerns about the Zika virus.
Raonic, who would have represented Canada, and Halep, who would have played for Romania, are the first tennis players to make themselves unavailable for the event.
As of now, a lot of golfers, including Jason Day, Jordan Spieth and Rory McIlroy, have pulled out from the Olympics, but the fear regarding the Zika virus is starting to spread to other sporting stars, which is leading to more and more withdrawals.
“It is with a heavy heart that I am announcing my withdrawal from participation in the Rio 2016 Olympic Games,” Raonic wrote on his Facebook page. “After much deliberation with my family and coaches, I am making this decision for a variety of health concerns including the uncertainty around the Zika virus.
“This was a difficult, personal choice and I do not wish for it to impact the decision of any other athlete heading to the Games.
“I would like to thank Tennis Canada and the Canadian Olympic Committee for their ongoing support. I am very proud to have competed for Canada at the London 2012 Summer Olympics, and on the world stage at several Davis Cup events. I look forward to cheering on Team Canada this summer.”
Halep, meanwhile, admitted that she is concerned about the risk the mosquito-borne virus poses to new-born babies as it is known to cause brain deformities.
“Family is much too important for me and I can’t risk not being able to have one of my own after my career in tennis is over,” she said.