Commonwealth 100m gold medallist Kemar Bailey-Cole has revealed that he is suffering from the Zika virus.
Despite being unaware of how he contracted the virus, the Jamaican described that it was first discovered by his girlfriend.
“I didn’t know I had it (Zika) until I went to get a haircut.” He told the Jamaica Gleaner, “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.”
Zika is widely prevalent in Brazil and is known to cause serious and lasting birth defects, prompting figures such as golf star Rory Mcilroy to withdraw from this year’s Rio Olympics.
However, Bailey-Cole is confident that he is still fit to compete in Jamaica’s Olympic trials on Thursday, against sprint heavyweights such as Usain Bolt, Asafa Powell and Yohan Blake.
“Recovering is not easy because, as we speak, the rashes are still on my body.” he said, “My eyes hurt, but the best thing is that I am not feeling any muscle pain at the moment.
“[I am] going to trials with the mindset that I am healthy and ready,”
The 24-year-old is a strong hopeful to compete in Rio as part of Jamaica’s 4x100m Olympic relay team, having already been part of the team that won the event at the 2012 Olympics in London.