Published: Sun, April 15, 2018
Worldwide | By Lisa Hogan

Australia sternly warns Commonwealth Athletes as some go missing

Australia sternly warns Commonwealth Athletes as some go missing

Queensland Police told Reuters it was a "matter for the Cameroon Commonwealth Games Association to address" until such point that the athletes overstayed their visas. "Why did they take action on both athletes?"

David Grevemberg, Commonwealth Games Federation CEO, said the situation remained an issue for the Cameroon team until the athletes breached their visas.

Five boxers and three weightlifters from the country were said to have left the athlete village since Sunday, with some of them not even turning up for competition, as they were scheduled to.

Team coordinator Simon Molombe admits that he is not sure they will be coming back.

A spokesman for the Australian Border Force said the federal government was working closely with the Games organising committee and global stakeholders to ensure officials and athletes were aware of their visa responsibilities.

During the London 2012 Olympics, 21 athletes and delegates either vanished or asked for asylum in the UK.

In the final event of the night, the three-meter synchro springboard, England's Jack Laugher won his third gold of the games, combining with Chris Mears for a dominating victory over divers from Canada and Australia.

It's the second time India has been investigated here for breaching the Commonwealth Games "no-needles' policy after a doctor with the boxing team was reprimanded last week".

Commonwealth Games Organising Committee (GOLDOC) chairman Peter Beattie said competitors should follow visa regulations.

"They have the right to travel freely, but this is obviously an issue that team Cameroon is monitoring closely and until it becomes a real issue in terms of visas and so forth we would obviously have to take that very seriously". We had a lot of commendation for sticking to the strategy of developing young swimmers and giving them opportunities to compete at the highest levels.

"They are keeping a watching brief on these athletes", she said.

The Australian Border Force has been alerted to the missing athletes.

Two Cameroonian weightlifters Francois Etoundi and Simplice Ribouem were granted refugee status, competing for Team Australia this year.

Before the Commonwealth Games began Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton warned athletes not to overstay their visas.

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