Superstar athletes that won't be at the Olympics

Apparently for some, Olympic Gold just isn't worth it
Maria Sharapova - The five-time Grand Slam winner was banned in June for two years for using the prohibited drug meldonium. Although the 29-year-old Russian has appealed against the decision her case will not be heard until September, therefore making her unable to compete in Rio.
AP
Maria Sharapova - The five-time Grand Slam winner was banned in June for two years for using the prohibited drug meldonium. Although the 29-year-old Russian has appealed against the decision her case will not be heard until September, therefore making her unable to compete in Rio.
Rory McIlroy - Golf makes its return as an Olympic sport after a 112-year absence. You would imagine that it would signal a historical moment for the sport, but the course in Rio has failed to attracted the game's biggest draws. None of the world's top four players, including Rory McIlroy (the others being Jason Day, Jordan Spieth and Dustin Johnson), will make the trip citing concerns over the Zika virus and busy PGA Tour schedules for their lack of attendence in Rio.
Getty
Rory McIlroy - Golf makes its return as an Olympic sport after a 112-year absence. You would imagine that it would signal a historical moment for the sport, but the course in Rio has failed to attracted the game's biggest draws. None of the world's top four players, including Rory McIlroy (the others being Jason Day, Jordan Spieth and Dustin Johnson), will make the trip citing concerns over the Zika virus and busy PGA Tour schedules for their lack of attendence in Rio.
Alberto Contador -  The former Tour de France winner was ruled out of the Olympics after withdrawing from this year's event due to injury. The Spaniard was expected to recover from his injury in four-weeks, leaving not enough time to be fit for Rio.
Getty
Alberto Contador - The former Tour de France winner was ruled out of the Olympics after withdrawing from this year's event due to injury. The Spaniard was expected to recover from his injury in four-weeks, leaving not enough time to be fit for Rio.
Roger Federer - Yes, the Swiss great will be missing in Rio, but it is not due to a lack of wanting. The 17-time Grand Slam winner has been ruled out for the rest of the season with a knee injury. The tennis great has never won an Olympics singles title (doubles, yes) having lost out to Andy Murray four years ago in London.
Getty
Roger Federer - Yes, the Swiss great will be missing in Rio, but it is not due to a lack of wanting. The 17-time Grand Slam winner has been ruled out for the rest of the season with a knee injury. The tennis great has never won an Olympics singles title (doubles, yes) having lost out to Andy Murray four years ago in London.
Leo Messi - Unquestionably one of the greatest players to ever kick a football, a player like the Argentine striker comes around only a couple of times in a generation. Despite the fact that the football in the Olympics is an Under-23 affair, teams are allowed to include three 'over-23' players. However, with the domestic football season starting this month, and Argentina having also competed in the Copa America this summer (where they lost in the final to Chile), the team's coach opted not to select Messi in the Olympic team for fear of over-playing the striker.  Mind you, it's worth keeping in mind that Messi has previously won an Olympic gold in Beijing 2008.
Getty
Leo Messi - Unquestionably one of the greatest players to ever kick a football, a player like the Argentine striker comes around only a couple of times in a generation. Despite the fact that the football in the Olympics is an Under-23 affair, teams are allowed to include three 'over-23' players. However, with the domestic football season starting this month, and Argentina having also competed in the Copa America this summer (where they lost in the final to Chile), the team's coach opted not to select Messi in the Olympic team for fear of over-playing the striker. Mind you, it's worth keeping in mind that Messi has previously won an Olympic gold in Beijing 2008.
LeBron James - The all-conquering 'king' of the NBA is another global superstar to pass on Rio. The Nike poster-boy ruled out competing in his fourth Olympics (he already has two gold medals), declaring that he "could do with the rest" after leading his Cleveland Cavaliers team to the NBA championship in May. James is part of a contingent of top US basketball stars to turn down an Olympic call-up this year including Steph Curry, Kobe Bryant, Blake Griffin.
AP
LeBron James - The all-conquering 'king' of the NBA is another global superstar to pass on Rio. The Nike poster-boy ruled out competing in his fourth Olympics (he already has two gold medals), declaring that he "could do with the rest" after leading his Cleveland Cavaliers team to the NBA championship in May. James is part of a contingent of top US basketball stars to turn down an Olympic call-up this year including Steph Curry, Kobe Bryant, Blake Griffin.
Yelena Isinbayeva (and the entire Russian Track and Field team) -  The Russian athletics federation has been banned by the IAAF (the athletics' world governing body) over claims of state-sponsored doping. The ban was upheld by Court of Arbitration for Sport, meaning that two-time defending women's Olympic Pole Vault champion Isinbayeva and 67 other Russian athletes will not be able to compete in Rio.
Getty
Yelena Isinbayeva (and the entire Russian Track and Field team) - The Russian athletics federation has been banned by the IAAF (the athletics' world governing body) over claims of state-sponsored doping. The ban was upheld by Court of Arbitration for Sport, meaning that two-time defending women's Olympic Pole Vault champion Isinbayeva and 67 other Russian athletes will not be able to compete in Rio.
Maria Sharapova - The five-time Grand Slam winner was banned in June for two years for using the prohibited drug meldonium. Although the 29-year-old Russian has appealed against the decision her case will not be heard until September, therefore making her unable to compete in Rio.
Rory McIlroy - Golf makes its return as an Olympic sport after a 112-year absence. You would imagine that it would signal a historical moment for the sport, but the course in Rio has failed to attracted the game's biggest draws. None of the world's top four players, including Rory McIlroy (the others being Jason Day, Jordan Spieth and Dustin Johnson), will make the trip citing concerns over the Zika virus and busy PGA Tour schedules for their lack of attendence in Rio.
Alberto Contador -  The former Tour de France winner was ruled out of the Olympics after withdrawing from this year's event due to injury. The Spaniard was expected to recover from his injury in four-weeks, leaving not enough time to be fit for Rio.
Roger Federer - Yes, the Swiss great will be missing in Rio, but it is not due to a lack of wanting. The 17-time Grand Slam winner has been ruled out for the rest of the season with a knee injury. The tennis great has never won an Olympics singles title (doubles, yes) having lost out to Andy Murray four years ago in London.
Leo Messi - Unquestionably one of the greatest players to ever kick a football, a player like the Argentine striker comes around only a couple of times in a generation. Despite the fact that the football in the Olympics is an Under-23 affair, teams are allowed to include three 'over-23' players. However, with the domestic football season starting this month, and Argentina having also competed in the Copa America this summer (where they lost in the final to Chile), the team's coach opted not to select Messi in the Olympic team for fear of over-playing the striker.  Mind you, it's worth keeping in mind that Messi has previously won an Olympic gold in Beijing 2008.
LeBron James - The all-conquering 'king' of the NBA is another global superstar to pass on Rio. The Nike poster-boy ruled out competing in his fourth Olympics (he already has two gold medals), declaring that he "could do with the rest" after leading his Cleveland Cavaliers team to the NBA championship in May. James is part of a contingent of top US basketball stars to turn down an Olympic call-up this year including Steph Curry, Kobe Bryant, Blake Griffin.
Yelena Isinbayeva (and the entire Russian Track and Field team) -  The Russian athletics federation has been banned by the IAAF (the athletics' world governing body) over claims of state-sponsored doping. The ban was upheld by Court of Arbitration for Sport, meaning that two-time defending women's Olympic Pole Vault champion Isinbayeva and 67 other Russian athletes will not be able to compete in Rio.
07August2016
Matthew Priest