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Zika may curtail Day's Rio plans

Roar Rookie
3rd June, 2016
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World No.1 Jason Day has opened the door to being another high profile exit from the Rio Olympic Games.

Day, who has long talked of his desire to represent Australia in the golf competition in Rio, is now wavering because of the Zika virus.

Reading a recent story on Detroit Tigers baseball player Francisco Rodriguez who contracted the virus in Venezuela and hearing a friend of Japanese player Hideki Matsuyama’s was also afflicted has given the 28-year-old significant cause for concern.

The World Health Organisation has classified Zika, a mosquito-transmitted illness that can cause microcephaly in infants as well as other developmental issues as a “Public Health Emergency of International Concern”.

It can also be transmitted sexually.

Day, who has two children with wife Ellie, has plans to add to his family in the future and as such is seeking out further information on the virus.

“It’s difficult to say right now,” Day said on whether he will in fact be in Rio.

“I’m just trying to monitor what’s going on and then make an educated decision.

“Obviously we are not done having kids so I don’t want to have to bring it back and have the possibility of that happening to us.

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“I think if you are putting yourself down there there is a chance of you getting it.

“So we are going to explore every avenue to make sure we make an educated decision before we go.”

While US PGA tour doctors have advised Day every precaution will be taken in Rio the Queenslander says he will seek out further advice.

“We have to see an independent doctor, not just the PGA doctor,” Day said.

“I’m not saying it’s bias I’m just saying we need independent advice. There are a lot of guys on the fence about it because they don’t want to put themselves in harms way.

“The Detroit player … he was sick for a month and half and we just don’t need that.”

“I don’t think it’s an Olympic issue, I don’t think it’s a Rio issue, I think it’s a medical issue.

“So I am a little wary on it and once again I just have to make a smart educated decision on whether I go or not.”

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With fellow Australian Marc Leishman already withdrawing from selection for Zika fears and Adam Scott pulling out for scheduling reasons the Australian team is now in flux.

Marcus Fraser and Matt Jones currently occupy the next two highest spots in the world rankings however Jones is also non-committal at this stage.

Scott Hend and John Senden are next in line.

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