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zika virus

It’s no secret that Katie Taylor is made of tough stuff and the boxing champion proved she’s not about to go soft any time soon when she used Twitter yesterday to deliver a rather harsh message.

As the world's Olympic golf hopefuls continue to drop out of the upcoming Rio games over fears surrounding the zika virus, Katie took to social media to give her opinion on the situation.

She wrote: “Another one bites the dust. I wonder what excuse the golfers would of made if there was no virus.”

Attached to the tweet was a link to Australian golfer Jason Day’s dropout statement.

Katie’s tweet came just after Day’s announcement and shortly before Shane Lowry added his name to the list of golfers – which already included Rory McIlroy – who will not be putting themselves forward for Olympic selection.

The golfers are concerned that the zika virus could potentially affect their families who would intend on travelling to Rio should they participate in the Olympics.

But no matter how many golfers drop out at least we know Katie will be there in fighting form.

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In the past, there had been some controversy over whether Holywood-native Rory McIlroy would represent Ireland or Britain at the Olympics later this year.

However, and after announcing to much fanfare that he would compete alongside his fellow boys and girls in green, the 27-year-old has withdrawn from the event entirely. 

Citing health concerns, a statement released by the professional golfer read: “After much thought and deliberation, I have decided to withdraw my name from consideration for this summer’s Olympic Games in Rio de Janiero.

“After speaking with those closest to me, I’ve come to realise that my health and my family’s health comes before anything else. 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 statement, as published by irishtimes.com, continued: “I trust the Irish people will understand my decision. The unwavering support I receive every time I compete in a golf tournament at home or abroad means the world to me.

“I will continue to endeavour to make my fans and fans of golf proud with my play on the course and my actions off it.”

Last month, Rory had hinted at his uncertainty of travelling to Brazil, stating: “As it gets closer, I am relishing the thought of going down there and competing for gold.

"But I have been reading a lot of reports about Zika and there have been some articles coming out saying that it might be worse than they are saying. I have to monitor that situation.”

The Olympic Council Of Ireland has now expressed its disappointment at the news.

However, it also reflected: “Rory was set to be one of the big stars of Rio 2016, but now there is an opportunity for another Irish golfer to take up the chance to become an Olympian and participate in golf’s historic return to the Olympic Games after a 112-year absence.”

Rory and a gaggle of mates yesterday travelled by private jet to France to see Northern Ireland take on world champions Germany – a game they sadly lost 0-1.

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