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Published: 14:09 | 28/6/16

Day withdraws from Olympics

World number one Jason Day has become the latest golfer to withdraw from the Rio Olympics because of the Zika virus.

Golf will return to the Olympics for the first time since 1904 but a number of the sport's biggest stars have decided against travelling to Brazil, citing Zika and scheduling conflicts as the reasons for their withdrawals.

Rory McIlroy drew widespread criticism when he announced his intention to skip the Olympics due to concerns over the virus and now Day has elected not to compete because of the risks.

"It is with deep regret I announce that I will not be competing in the 2016 Summer Olympic Games this coming August in Rio de Janeiro," Day said in a statement.

"The reason for my decision is my concerns about the possible transmission of the Zika virus and the potential risks that it may present to my wife's future pregnancies and to future members of our family.

"I have always placed my family in front of everything else in my life. Medical experts have confirmed that while perhaps slight, a decision to compete in Rio absolutely comes with health risks to me and my family. My wife Ellie and I have been blessed with two wonderful and healthy children and our plan is to have more.

"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. I will not place them at risk," the 28-year-old added.

"I have informed Coach Ian Baker Finch and Stephen Pitt the CEO of Golf Australia of my difficult decision. I hope all golf and Olympics fans respect and understand my position. In closing, I would like to that all of those who have supported me throughout my career and extend my best wishes to all participants. Especially the entire Australian Olympic Team as they pursue their dreams in Rio de Janeiro."

Australian Marc Leishman, Fiji's Vijay Singh and South Africa's Branden Grace have also decided against competing in Rio due to the virus, while Adam Scott and Louis Oosthuizen have pulled out due to scheduling and family conflicts.

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