Who’s not in Rio? Ronaldo, LeBron, Federer to name a few

ABS-CBN Sports on Aug 07, 2016 07:05 AM
Who’s not in Rio? Ronaldo, LeBron, Federer to name a few
Cristiano Ronaldo is one of a few superstar athletes missing in the 2016 Rio Olympics (FILE/ AP Photo).

Associated Press

Hundreds of athletes from around the world have descended into Rio. But absent from the list are some of the biggest names in sports. Here’s a look at some of the top athletes skipping the Summer Games:

BASKETBALL

Topping the list of NBA stars skipping Rio are the sport’s two biggest names.

Days after LeBron James lead his Cleveland Cavaliers to the NBA title, the two-time Olympic gold medalist announced he wasn’t going to play in the Rio Games.

Also staying home: Russell Westbrook, Chris Paul, James Harden and others.

SOCCER

Like basketball, many of soccer’s biggest stars aren't competing in Rio.

Men’s soccer squads are only allowed three players aged over 23 on the Olympics roster, and generally players avoid participating in two tournaments during the same season.

Cristiano Ronaldo was never likely to be on the pitch in Rio after playing in the European Championship this summer. His team, Portugal, won the Euro 2016 even though he was sidelined with a injury for most of the final.

Lionel Messi wasn’t planning on playing in Rio even before he quit the Argentina’s national team in July after the team lost the final of the Copa America tournament for a second straight year.

One soccer star who will be a big draw: Brazil’s Neymar. He will look to help his team win its first Olympic gold.

TENNIS

Men’s singles world No. 3 Roger Federer announced last month he was sitting out the rest of this season, including the Olympics and the U.S. Open, to protect his surgically repaired left knee.

Maria Sharapova also is out of Rio while serving a doping ban. The five-time major champion tested positive for meldonium at the Australian Open in January and received a two-year ban from the ITF. She has filed an appeal seeking to overturn or reduce the sanction.

But unlike basketball, plenty of big names will be on the court including the world No. 1s: Novak Djokovic and Serena Williams.

GOLF

Golf is making its big return to the Olympics in Rio. But its four top male players are staying away.

When Jordan Spieth announced last month that he was not going citing "health reasons,” he became the final player among the four highest-ranking players to decline the Rio invite.  

 

Jason Day, Dustin Johnson and Rory McIllroy previously said they would not go to Rio, all citing the Zika virus as the reason.

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