Jamaican sprinter Kemar Bailey-Cole: I have the Zika virus

Jamaican sprinter Kemar Bailey-Cole: I have the Zika virus

Jamaican sprinter Kemar Bailey-Cole has revealed he has contracted the Zika virus.

But the Commonwealth 100 metres champion still plans to compete at Jamaica's Olympic trials, which get under way on Thursday, where he will battle the likes of Usain Bolt, Asafa Powell and Yohan Blake for places on the team in Rio.

"Recovering is not easy because, as we speak, the rashes are still on my body. My eyes hurt, but the best thing is that I am not feeling any muscle pain at the moment," the 24-year-old told the Jamaican Gleaner.

"I didn't know I had it (Zika) until I went to get a haircut. After cleaning up, my girlfriend realised a bump was on my neck, which was a lymph node.

"I was experiencing back pains and muscle soreness, but I thought it was just soreness from the exercises I was doing. It is very disappointing."

Bailey-Cole, who won Commonwealth gold in Glasgow two years ago, is also an Olympic and world 4x100m relay gold medallist. He ran his 100m personal best of 9.92 seconds last summer.

Fears over the Zika virus have dominated the build-up to the Rio Olympics and persuaded the likes of Rory McIlroy to skip the Games.

The Northern Irish world number four, who was due to represent Ireland in Rio in August, has become the latest high-profile golfer to say he will not travel to Brazil, after Charl Schwartzel, Marc Leishman and Vijay Singh did likewise.

In a statement, he 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.

"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."

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