Zika fear puts McIlroy off Rio
Rory McIlroy to opt out of Rio.
Northern Ireland's four-times major winner Rory McIlroy has decided to pull out of the historic golf tournament at the Rio Olympic Games in August because of health fears over the Zika virus.
"After speaking with those closest to me, I've come to realise that my health and my family's health comes before anything else," the world number four said.
"Even though the risk of infection from the Zika virus is considered low, it is a risk nonetheless and a risk I am unwilling to take."
The 27-year-old McIlroy was due to represent Ireland, rather than Britain, at the Games and his withdrawal is the latest blow to golf, which is returning to the Olympics for the first time since 1904. A number of big names, including Fiji's Vijay Singh and Charl Schwartzel of South Africa, have also withdrawn because of the virus. Controversy over the Aug. 5-21 Games has grown as more becomes known about Zika. The mosquito-borne virus can cause crippling birth defects and, in adults, has been linked to the neurological disorder Guillain-Barre.
Lionel Messi scores a free-kick past US goalkeeper Brad Guzan during their Copa America Centenario semifinal in Houston. — AFP