• World No.1 says fears over Zika virus behind his decision
• Joins Rory, Scott, G-Mac and more in pulling out
JASON DAY | OLYMPIC GAMES
Another day, another blow for golf’s increasingly beleaguered return to the Olympic Games. World No.1 Jason Day has confirmed that, like Rory McIlroy, Graeme McDowell, Adam Scott and several others, he will not be participating in the event in Rio de Janeiro amidst ongoing concerns over the Zika virus.
Day, 28, has issued a statement announcing his non-participation due to ‘concerns about the 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’.
"Playing golf cannot take precedent over the safety of our family" - Jason Day
The virus is said to be particularly harmful to pregnant women and their unborn foetuses. Day and his wife Ellie currently have two children: Dash, four next month, and Lucy, born in November last year.
“I have always placed my family in front of everything else in my life,” wrote Day. “Medical experts have confirmed that wile 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.”
He went on: “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.
Read more -> Rory McIlroy confirms he will not play in Olympics
“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.”
Golf is making its return to the Olympic Games this year after a 112-year absence. It was reinstated to the quadrennial sporting showpiece on an initial ‘two Games’ term in 2009 after a concerted and long-standing effort by the International Golf Federation.
A decision on whether or not it will keep its place in the Games is expected to be announced by the International Golf Federation before the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo.
Jason Day out of the Olympics: Your thoughts
What do you make of news that Jason Day has made himself unavailable for this year’s Olympics? Do you agree with his decision or would you have played given the opportunity? Leave your thoughts in our ‘Comments’ section below.