Despite the fact that R&A chief executive Peter Dawson assumed last week that Rory McIlroy will be forced to play for Ireland at the Rio Games, the world No. 2 golfer understands he still has a choice regarding which team he competes for, according to Paragraph 2 of IOC Rule 41.
“If you play for a country and then you either change nationality or whatever or if you don’t play for that certain country for three years, you still have a choice,” McIlroy said Wednesday.
“I haven’t played for anyone, I guess, since 2011, end of 2011 World Cup. Obviously, going into the Olympics that will be five years, so I’ll still have a choice.”
He and his Northern Ireland countryman Graeme McDowell can play for either Ireland or Great Britain when golf returns to the Olympics in 2016, but, really, either choice will be incredibly unpopular.
They’ve asked the IOC to step in and make the decision, but so far that request has gone unanswered. So now it seems McIlroy is willing to make the decision for himself. Or just make no decision and wait until September, when he’ll have run out of time and default to Ireland. Either way.
LAUSANNE, Switzerland (AP) — Nine more athletes, including six medal winners, have been retroactively disqualified from the 2008 Beijing Olympics after failing retests of their doping samples.
The International Olympic Committee announced the decisions on Wednesday in the latest sanctions imposed on athletes whose stored samples came back positive after being retested with improved methods.
Four athletes from former Soviet countries were stripped of silver medals, and two of bronze medals. The medals were in weightlifting, wrestling and steeplechase.
The IOC stores doping samples for 10 years to allow them to be reanalyzed when enhanced techniques become available.
The IOC recorded a total of 98 positive cases in recent resting of samples from Beijing and the 2012 London Olympics.
VIDEO: Yao Ming reflects on Beijing Olympics
Rory McIlroy has said he was proven wrong about golf’s place in the Olympics, but that doesn’t necessarily mean he’s keen on the 2020 Tokyo Games after skipping Rio.
The four-time major champion was asked Wednesday if he had any plans to play in the next Olympics and called it a “tough question.”
“The participation in the Olympics for me, it’s just a little more complicated I feel for me than some other people from where I’m from and the whole politics of the thing,” McIlroy said. “It’s a difficult subject for me.”
McIlroy is from Northern Ireland, which does not have a separate delegation at the Olympics. That led to a scrutinized decision for McIlroy, who had to choose in 2014 between representing Great Britain and Ireland for golf’s Olympic return in Rio.
McIlroy opted for Ireland, which he represented at the World Cup of Golf in 2009 and 2011.
“I don’t know whether it’s been because the World Cup has been in Brazil and I’ve been thinking a couple of years down the line,” McIlroy reportedly said in June 2014. “Thinking about all the times that I played as an amateur for Ireland and as a boy and everything, I think for me it’s the right decision to play for Ireland in 2016.”
Golf’s place in the Olympics is not guaranteed beyond 2020, so Tokyo may be McIlroy’s last opportunity.
“Four years’ time is a long ways away, so we’ll see what happens,” McIlroy said Wednesday. “Right now, I’ll concentrate on the 16 majors that we have between now and then and try to get a few more of those and go from there.”
MORE: Tim Finchem eyes Olympic golf change in 2020