Sports

Cameroonian Athletes Flee Commonwealth Games 2018

Cameroonian Athletes Flee Commonwealth Games 2018

Eight athletes from conflict-hit Cameroon - one third of the central African country's 24-strong team - were said to be missing from the Commonwealth Games on Wednesday, sparking an Australian Border Force manhunt.

Most athletes and officials are on visas that remain valid until May 15 but Dutton was concerned by instances in which athletes missed their events at the Games "when that was the reason they were here".

Cameroonian weightlifters Francois Etoundi and Simplice Ribouem were both granted refugee status, and competed for Australia in the 2018 Games.

Another boxer Juma Miiro is already assured of a medal after qualifying for the semifinals in the 46-49kg weight category.

Cameroon officials on Wednesday said eight of their athletes at the Commonwealth Games are missing from the athletes' village, with two failing to turn up for competitions.

An Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority investigator also found a syringe in Mr Babu's bag.

Six had finished competing, while the two boxers left the village without taking part in their events.

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"Nobody said anything, they did not give any condition, they just left", he said.

The safety and welfare of those athletes from the Team Cameroon perspective is being taken very, very seriously, but we are obviously monitoring that situation with Team Cameroon.

According to the BBC, press attache, Simon Molombe reported the "desertion" adding that the missing athletes were last seen at different times on Monday and Tuesday.

"This happens at every games, it's no surprise. if there is a breach (of visa) Peter Dutton and his team will deal with it", Beattie said. Weightlifters Olivier Heracles Matam Matam, Petit David Minkoumba and Arcangeline Sonkbou Fouodji are also among the missing. "They are still within their visas, they have the right to travel freely", Commonwealth Games Federation chief executive David Grevemberg said.

"It's obviously disappointing that some of the athletes who've come didn't compete as they were scheduled to compete", he said.

Prominent barrister Julian Burnside said the athletes' visas could in theory include terms that they have to be present at the Games Village every day.