McIlroy out of Rio Olympics over Zika concerns

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DUBLIN (AP) — Rory McIlroy says he will not be competing in the golf tournament at the Rio de Janeiro Olympics because of concerns over the Zika virus.

In a statement released by his management company on Wednesday, the four-time major winner says “I’ve come to realize that my health and my family’s health comes before anything else.”

The Northern Irishman says “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.”

McIlroy is one of the most high-profile sports stars to pull out of the Rio Games because of Zika, the mosquito-borne virus linked to severe birth defects and possible neurological problems in adults.

Pregnant women have been advised not to travel to areas where the Zika vrius is circulating.

The International Olympic Committee insists the games will be safe for athletes. The 2016 Summer Olympics begin August 5.