Shane Lowry withdraws from Rio Olympics over Zika fears

Shane Lowry has announced his withdrawal from the Rio Olympics, as he joins a list of players including Rory McIlroy in citing fears over the Zika virus.

In a statement released this afternoon, Lowry said: "It is with a very heavy heart that I have had to make the decision over the past couple of days to withdraw from the upcoming Olympic games this August."

He said that he felt he would be "putting my family's health at risk by being in Brazil at the current time", and that his decision followed consultations with medical experts.

"Wendy and I have just recently been married and we hope to be lucky enough to have a family in the near future," he added. "Based on these circumstances, I have received firm medical advice that I should not travel to Rio this summer."

Shane Lowry with Wndy Honner. Picture: VIP

He said the decision has caused him "much anguish".

"I am a very proud Irishman and I love my country. ..I was really looking forward to walking out behind the Tricolour with the rest of the Irish Olympic team in Rio.

"While I am bitterly disappointed to be missing out on that experience and the opportunity to win an Olympic medal for Ireland, on this occasion I have to put my family's welfare first."

He said he would continue to work hard to represent Ireland at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics in four years' time.

Read the full statement here:

 

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