The threat of Zika claims another top-ranked golfer in the Olympic field. Shane Lowry announced Tuesday he would not travel to Rio for golf’s return to the Olympics, its first appearance since 1904, due to concerns of the future health of his family in relation to the threat of contracting the Zika virus.
“Wendy and I have just recently been married and we hope to be lucky enough to have a family in the near future,” Lowry said in a statement. “Based on these cirumcstances, I have received firm medical advice that I should not travel to Rio this summer.”
The No. 25th player in the world announced the same day World No. 1 Jason Day also announced his withdrawl from the Olympics for similar reasons. Other top players like Adam Scott, Rory McIlory, Louis Oosthuizen, and Charl Schwartzel among others had previously withdrawn.
The Zika virus carries a risk of potential birth defects and can be contracted by mosquitos, as well as passed by bodily fluids and sexual contact. If a male golfer were to contract the virus, he could run the risk of passing it on to his partner.
Keep track of who’s in and out of the Olympics with our Rio Tracker.