Golfer McIlroy withdraws from Rio Games

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Golfer McIlroy withdraws from Rio Games

LONDON, June 22 (Reuters) - Four-times Major winner Rory McIlroy will not compete in this summer's Rio Olympic Games, citing health fears over the Zika virus, he said on Wednesday.

"After speaking with those closest to me, I've come to realize that my health and my family's health comes before anything else. 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," the Northern Irish world number four said.

SEE ALSO: Visa launches Olympics campaign, undeterred by woes in Brazil



Golf returns to the Olympics in August for the first time since 1904, but a number of big names including Fiji's Vijay Singh and Charl Schwartzel of South Africa have also said they will not compete in the event.

Controversy over the Aug.5-21 Games has grown as more about the disease becomes known. The mosquito-borne virus can cause crippling birth defects and, in adults, has been linked to the neurological disorder Guillain-Barre.

PHOTOS: Rio Olympics arenas and set-up

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Rio Olympics arenas and set-up, aerial photos
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Rio Olympics arenas and set-up, aerial photos
An aerial view shows the X-Park at Deodoro Olympic Park ahead of the 2016 Rio Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, April 25, 2016. With 100 days to go before the Olympic games begin in Rio de Janeiro, a host nation famous for doing things at the last minute faces a novel situation - the organisation is not an issue, political turmoil and apathy are. REUTERS/Ricardo Moraes SEARCH "100 OLYMPICS" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "THE WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
An aerial view shows Rio Olympic Stadium in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, April 25, 2016. With 100 days to go before the Olympic games begin in Rio de Janeiro, a host nation famous for doing things at the last minute faces a novel situation - the organisation is not an issue, political turmoil and apathy are. REUTERS/Ricardo Moraes SEARCH "100 OLYMPICS" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "THE WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES
An athlete trains at canoe slalom at the X-Park at Deodoro Olympic Park ahead of the 2016 Rio Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, April 25, 2016. With 100 days to go before the Olympic games begin in Rio de Janeiro, a host nation famous for doing things at the last minute faces a novel situation - the organisation is not an issue, political turmoil and apathy are. REUTERS/Ricardo Moraes SEARCH "100 OLYMPICS" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "THE WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES
An aerial view shows Arpoador beach (bottom) and Copacabana beach (top), which will host the beach volleyball, marathon swimming, road cycling and triathlon during the 2016 Rio Olympics, in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, April 25, 2016. in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, April 25, 2016. With 100 days to go before the Olympic games begin in Rio de Janeiro, a host nation famous for doing things at the last minute faces a novel situation - the organisation is not an issue, political turmoil and apathy are. REUTERS/Ricardo Moraes SEARCH "100 OLYMPICS" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "THE WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES
Men work at Rio Olympic Stadium in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, April 25, 2016. With 100 days to go before the Olympic games begin in Rio de Janeiro, a host nation famous for doing things at the last minute faces a novel situation - the organisation is not an issue, political turmoil and apathy are. REUTERS/Ricardo Moraes SEARCH "100 OLYMPICS" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "THE WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES
An aerial view shows the 2016 Rio Olympic park in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, April 25, 2016. With 100 days to go before the Olympic games begin in Rio de Janeiro, a host nation famous for doing things at the last minute faces a novel situation - the organisation is not an issue, political turmoil and apathy are. REUTERS/Ricardo Moraes SEARCH "100 OLYMPICS" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "THE WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES
An aerial view shows Copacabana Beach, will host the beach volleyball, marathon swimming, road cycling and triathlon during the 2016 Rio Olympics, in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, April 25, 2016. With 100 days to go before the Olympic games begin in Rio de Janeiro, a host nation famous for doing things at the last minute faces a novel situation - the organisation is not an issue, political turmoil and apathy are. REUTERS/Ricardo Moraes SEARCH "100 OLYMPICS" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "THE WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
An aerial view of Copacabana Beach, which will host the beach volleyball, marathon swimming, road cycling and triathlon during the 2016 Rio Olympics, in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, April 25, 2016. With 100 days to go before the Olympic games begin in Rio de Janeiro, a host nation famous for doing things at the last minute faces a novel situation - the organisation is not an issue, political turmoil and apathy are. REUTERS/Ricardo Moraes SEARCH "100 OLYMPICS" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "THE WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES
An aerial view shows Rodrigo de Freitas Lagoon, which will host rowing and canoe sprint, at the 2016 Rio Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, April 25, 2016. With 100 days to go before the Olympic games begin in Rio de Janeiro, a host nation famous for doing things at the last minute faces a novel situation - the organisation is not an issue, political turmoil and apathy are. REUTERS/Ricardo Moraes SEARCH "100 OLYMPICS" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "THE WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES
An aerial view shows the 2016 Rio Olympic park in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, April 25, 2016. With 100 days to go before the Olympic games begin in Rio de Janeiro, a host nation famous for doing things at the last minute faces a novel situation - the organisation is not an issue, political turmoil and apathy are. REUTERS/Ricardo Moraes SEARCH "100 OLYMPICS" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "THE WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES
The collapsed area of the new cycle lane is seen in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, April 25, 2016. With 100 days to go before the Olympic games begin in Rio de Janeiro, a host nation famous for doing things at the last minute faces a novel situation - the organisation is not an issue, political turmoil and apathy are. REUTERS/Ricardo Moraes SEARCH "100 OLYMPICS" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "THE WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES
An aerial view shows Leblon Beach in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, April 25, 2016. With 100 days to go before the Olympic games begin in Rio de Janeiro, a host nation famous for doing things at the last minute faces a novel situation - the organisation is not an issue, political turmoil and apathy are. REUTERS/Ricardo Moraes SEARCH "100 OLYMPICS" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "THE WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES
An aerial view shows the Santos Dumont Airport in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, April 25, 2016. With 100 days to go before the Olympic games begin in Rio de Janeiro, a host nation famous for doing things at the last minute faces a novel situation - the organisation is not an issue, political turmoil and apathy are. REUTERS/Ricardo Moraes SEARCH "100 OLYMPICS" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "THE WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES
An aerial view shows the 2016 Rio Olympics golf venue in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, April 25, 2016. With 100 days to go before the Olympic games begin in Rio de Janeiro, a host nation famous for doing things at the last minute faces a novel situation - the organisation is not an issue, political turmoil and apathy are. REUTERS/Ricardo Moraes SEARCH "100 OLYMPICS" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "THE WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES
Men work on the construction of a building next to the 2016 Rio Olympics golf venue in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, April 25, 2016. With 100 days to go before the Olympic games begin in Rio de Janeiro, a host nation famous for doing things at the last minute faces a novel situation - the organisation is not an issue, political turmoil and apathy are. REUTERS/Ricardo Moraes SEARCH "100 OLYMPICS" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "THE WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES
An aerial view shows the Vila Autodromo slum next to 2016 Rio Olympic park in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, April 25, 2016. With 100 days to go before the Olympic games begin in Rio de Janeiro, a host nation famous for doing things at the last minute faces a novel situation - the organisation is not an issue, political turmoil and apathy are. REUTERS/Ricardo Moraes SEARCH "100 OLYMPICS" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "THE WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES
An aerial view shows the Marina da Gloria, which will host the sailing at the 2016 Rio Olympics, in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, April 25, 2016. With 100 days to go before the Olympic games begin in Rio de Janeiro, a host nation famous for doing things at the last minute faces a novel situation - the organisation is not an issue, political turmoil and apathy are. REUTERS/Ricardo Moraes SEARCH "100 OLYMPICS" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "THE WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES
An aerial view shows the 2016 Rio Olympic park in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, April 25, 2016. With 100 days to go before the Olympic games begin in Rio de Janeiro, a host nation famous for doing things at the last minute faces a novel situation - the organisation is not an issue, political turmoil and apathy are. REUTERS/Ricardo Moraes SEARCH "100 OLYMPICS" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "THE WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES
An aerial view shows the Deodoro Olympic Park ahead of 2016 Rio Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, April 25, 2016. With 100 days to go before the Olympic games begin in Rio de Janeiro, a host nation famous for doing things at the last minute faces a novel situation - the organisation is not an issue, political turmoil and apathy are. REUTERS/Ricardo Moraes SEARCH "100 OLYMPICS" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "THE WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES
An aerial view shows the 2016 Rio Olympic park in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, April 25, 2016. With 100 days to go before the Olympic games begin in Rio de Janeiro, a host nation famous for doing things at the last minute faces a novel situation - the organisation is not an issue, political turmoil and apathy are. REUTERS/Ricardo Moraes SEARCH "100 OLYMPICS" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "THE WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES
An aerial view shows the Vila Autodromo slum next to 2016 Rio Olympic park in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, April 25, 2016. With 100 days to go before the Olympic games begin in Rio de Janeiro, a host nation famous for doing things at the last minute faces a novel situation - the organisation is not an issue, political turmoil and apathy are. REUTERS/Ricardo Moraes SEARCH "100 OLYMPICS" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "THE WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
An aerial view of Copacabana Beach, which will host the beach volleyball, marathon swimming, road cycling and triathlon during the 2016 Rio Olympics, in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, April 25, 2016. With 100 days to go before the Olympic games begin in Rio de Janeiro, a host nation famous for doing things at the last minute faces a novel situation - the organisation is not an issue, political turmoil and apathy are. REUTERS/Ricardo Moraes SEARCH "100 OLYMPICS" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "THE WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES
An aerial view shows the 2016 Rio Olympics golf venue (L) in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, April 25, 2016. With 100 days to go before the Olympic games begin in Rio de Janeiro, a host nation famous for doing things at the last minute faces a novel situation - the organisation is not an issue, political turmoil and apathy are. REUTERS/Ricardo Moraes SEARCH "100 OLYMPICS" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "THE WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
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