Kemar Bailey-Cole: Jamaican Olympic hopeful claims he has Zika virus

Kemar Bailey-Cole
Kemar Bailey-Cole won 100m gold at the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow

Reigning Commonwealth 100m champion Kemar Bailey-Cole claims he has been diagnosed with the Zika virus.

The Jamaican, 24, says he only learned of his condition after his girlfriend found a bump on his neck.

"I didn't know I had the virus and I have been training with it for three days now," he told the Jamaica Gleaner.external-link

Fears over Zika, which is linked to serious birth defects, have led to several golfers, including Rory McIlroy, withdrawing from Rio 2016.

The mosquito-borne virus has been declared a global public health emergency by the World Health Organization (WHO), although the body has said there is no need to move or postpone the Games.

The outbreak began in Brazil a year ago, but now more than 60 countries and territories have been affected.

Bailey-Cole, who also won Olympic 4x100m gold alongside Usain Bolt at London 2012, said his girlfriend noticed the bump on his neck after he had a haircut.

"I was experiencing back pains and muscle soreness, but I thought it was just soreness from the exercises I was doing," the sprinter said.

"Recovering is not easy. The rashes are still on my body, my eyes hurt, but the best thing is that I am not feeling any muscle pain at the moment."

The discovery comes as Bailey-Cole is preparing for next week's Jamaican Olympic trials, where he will face the likes of Bolt, Asafa Powell and Yohan Blake for a place in Rio.

"[I am] going to trials with the mindset that I am healthy and ready," he added.