Saturday 22 October 2016

McIlroy may skip Olympics over Zika fears


James Corrigan

Published 24/05/2016 | 02:30

Rory McIlroy will pull out of the Olympics if he believes the Zika virus poses a threat to his and his fiancee's plans to become parents.

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Golf has already seen four Major-winners withdraw from Rio and will be desperate for McIlroy to be teeing it up when the sport returns to the Olympics after an absence of 112 years.

But McIlroy (above) has now made it clear that he will not travel to Brazil if he feels the risk is too high.

Zika is spread by the Aedes mosquito, which is prevalent in the coastal city and may be particularly so at the course built within the Marapendi Natural Reserve. The virus has been linked to brain deformities in newborn babies and can be passed on from person to person. The World Health Organisation also said there was a scientific consensus that Zika could trigger Guillain-Barré, a neurological syndrome that causes temporary paralysis.

All this has rung the warning bells for the world No 3.

"There's going to be a point in the next couple of years where we (he and fiancee Erica Stoll) are going to have to think about starting a family," McIlroy told the BBC.

continued on page 49

Irish Independent

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