LONDON » Seven of Cameroon’s Olympic competitors have disappeared from their official residence and may be attempting to seek asylum in Britain, the chief of the African nation’s delegation was quoted as saying Tuesday.
The British news agency Press Association said David Ojong, the Team Cameroon chief, told his government that five boxers, a swimmer and a soccer player left the athletes village in Stratford, east London, over the weekend and have not returned. The state-run Cameroon Tribune newspaper published a similar report, also quoting Ojong.
A sports reporter in Cameroon said some athletes had hinted before departing for London that they might attempt to stay there.
"They said they were very demotivated and named insufficient government attention to their complaints, inadequate financing, poor preparation and substandard infrastructure," David Sandjo, a sports reporter for Sweet FM radio, told the Associated Press. "Some even said they would not hesitate to change their nationality if ever they had the chance."
Ojong was quoted identifying the missing athletes, but the names differed from those given to the London organizing committee.
As displayed on the London Games official site, the seven are 50-meter freestyle swimmer Paul Edingue Ekane, 21; women’s goalie Drusille Ngako Tchimi, 25; and five boxers: light flyweight Thomas Essomba, 24; light heavyweight Christian Donfack Adjoufack, 28; lightweight Yhyacinthe Mewoli Abdon, 26; super heavyweight Blaise Yepmou Mendouo, 27; and light welterweight Serge Ambomo, 26.