The 2016 Olympics, slated for Rio, Brazil, has been hit by various complications in the months leading to the biggest sporting gathering on earth.
The most outstanding yet is the mosquito-carrying Zika virus.
On Thursday, former world No. 1 golfer, Rory Mcllroy, announced that he would no longer be able to represent Northern Ireland at the games after he sought advice from close associates.
“After speaking with those closest to me, I’ve come to realize that my health, and my family’s health, comes before anything else,” Mcllroy said.
“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 Zika virus [that currently has no cure] is said to cause microcephaly, especially in babies, whose mothers are infected.
“There is no longer any doubt that Zika causes microcephaly,” Dr. Thomas Frieden, a director at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), said in April.
“Never before in history has there been a situation where a bite from a mosquito can result in a devastating malformation,” he added after evaluating the evidence at hand.
The withdrawal of Mcllroy is a low blow for the Olympic organisers because the golfer had reportedly been vaccinated to travel to Brazil with the result that he had a numb shoulder, which prevented him from playing for two days.
Meanwhile, the Nigeria Olympic Committee is yet to make a policy statement concerning the Zika virus and what preparations it has made [or is making] to ensure that no Nigerian athlete contacts the disease.
The CDC has however advised people coming for the games to “use insect repellent while in outbreak areas and continue to use it for three weeks after travel in case they might be infected but not feel sick.”
The games kick off on August 5 and will officially end on August 21.