Katie Taylor hits out at golfers as Olympic dropouts continue

Katie Taylor has hit out at the golfers who are dropping out of the Olympics after the high-profile withdrawals continued today.

Ireland's Shane Lowry and world number one Jason Day have become the latest players to announce that they won't be putting themselves forward for selection because of concerns over the zika virus and how it could affect their family's health.

Katie Taylor hits out at golfers as Olympic dropouts continue

The high drop-out rate among golfers has led several athletes in other sports to question the decision to re-introduce golf to the Olympics.

London 2012 gold medallist Katie Taylor highlighted that once again today on Twitter when she questioned "what excuse the golfers would of made if there was no virus."

The tweet was released after Day’s announcement and just before Lowry released his statement.

Lowry said that he has made the decision with a "very heavy heart" and says that he was looking forward to joining the rest of the Irish athletes at the opening ceremony and representing his country.

Day also says that, "while it has always been a major goal to compete in the Olympics on behalf of my country, playing golf cannot take precedent over the safety" of his family.

The pair join a lengthy list of the game's biggest stars who have signalled their intention to stay away, including Rory McIlroy, Adam Scott, Louis Oosthuizen, Graeme McDowell, Marc Leishman, Vijay Singh and Branden Grace.

Today's decision by Lowry means that world number 283 Seamus Power is now next in line to join Padraig Harrington as Ireland's two representatives in Rio.

Katie Taylor hits out at golfers as Olympic dropouts continue

Harrington has also been pondering why so many golfers are staying away.

“The players are older in profile in the fact that they tend to have families and potentially have kids on the way or are planning to have kids,” said Harrington.

“In that sense, most other athletes at the Olympics are young, single people.

“Secondly, golfers have a long career. Most of these guys pulling out would like to play this year but they’re going to miss out because of family commitments. They know they might have a chance in four years or eight years, whereas a lot of athletes are only going to get one chance at the Olympics.

“We’re a different breed of sportspeople because our career is so long and because our age profile is so different.

“So I can understand that players aren’t going to take a risk this given year. But let’s face it, if this was our only chance ever to play the Olympics, I think a lot more guys would take that chance.”

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