Sun, Dec 11, 2016 | updated 03:54 AM IST

Dustin Johnson joins Rio exodus over Zika fears

Updated: Jul 09, 2016 12:42 IST

Johannesburg, July 9 (ANI): World number two golfer Dustin Johnson has joined the chorus of players pulling out of next month's Rio Olympics over increasing fears about the Zika virus.

Brazil has been most affected by the mosquito-borne virus that has spread rapidly through Latin America and the Caribbean. It is known to cause the head-shrinking microcephaly and other birth defects.

The 32-year-old, who recently won his first major title at the US Open Golf Championship, said in a statement, released by his agent, that it would be 'irresponsible' on his part to put his family at risk as he hopes to expand his family with fiancee Paulina Gretzky, Sport24 reported.

Johnson, who has a one-year-old son, said that he took the decision after 'much careful consideration' and 'discussion with both my family and my team'.

With this decision, Johnson has joined a host of golfers to withdraw from this year's Olympics, which includes Rory McIlroy, Jason Day, Adam Scott, Louis Oosthuizen, Charl Schwartzel, Marc Leishman and Vijay Singh.

Golf, which is making its return in Olympics after a century-long absence, has now lost three of its biggest stars after the withdrawal of four-time major champion McIlroy and world number one Day last month. (ANI)