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Sunday 4 December 2016

McIlroy's Olympics bid at risk over Zika

James Corrigan

Published 24/05/2016 | 02:30

Rory McIlroy. Picture Credit: Frank Mc Grath
Rory McIlroy. Picture Credit: Frank Mc Grath

Rory McIlroy says he will pull out of the Olympics in Brazil if the spread of the Zika virus intensifies.

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The golfer, who is one of the world's biggest sports stars, is worried the virus may pose a threat to his and his fiancée's plans to have children.

The virus is linked to brain deformities in newborn babies.

The stance of such a high-profile sportperson will cast a doubt over the participation of many top athletes in the Rio 2016 games.

Zika is spread by a mosquito, which is prevalent in the coastal city, and particularly so at the course built in a nature reserve

McIlroy said: "There's going to be a point in the next couple of years where we're (with fiancée Erica Stoll) going to have to think about starting a family.

"Right now, I'm ready to go; but I don't want anything to affect that."

Irish Independent

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