Top golfer Jason Day has officially opted out of playing in the 2016 Summer Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro due to concerns related to the Zika virus.
In a statement released through Twitter, Day said he made the decision due to the potential risks Zika could present to his wife’s future pregnancies and future members of his family.
“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,” Day said. “I hope all golf and Olympics fans respect and understand my position.”
The 28-year-old Australian golfer, who won last year’s PGA Championship, joins fellow professional Aussie players Marc Leishman and Adam Scott, who withdrew from the Olympics with similar concerns.
In the statement, Day wished the best to the rest of the participants, especially to the rest of the Australian team.
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Less than a week ago, LeBron James stated he would not participate in the 2016 Rio Olympics, attributing much needed “rest” and “a break from the court,” though not directly stating Zika as a cause. Other American basketball players such as Chris Paul, Stephen Curry, Russell Westbrook and Kawhi Leonard have also cited similar reasons for not participating in the Summer Olympics.
The Olympics, which run from Aug. 5-21 in Rio de Janiero, has not included golf in more than 100 years. Rory McIlroy of Ireland also recently decided to pull out of the Brazil games.