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Commonwealth Games: 8 Cameroon athletes "abscond"

16 April 2018

The largest sporting event to be staged in Australia this decade, the Gold Coast 2018, will feature the largest integrated sports programme in Commonwealth Games history, comprising 18 sports and seven para-sports.

Eight Cameroon athletes - one third of their entire team - have fled the Commonwealth Games, with their whereabouts now unknown.

Team manager Victor Agbor Nso said weightlifters Olivier Matam, Arcangeline Fouodji Sonkbou and Mikoumba Petit David and boxers Ndzie Tchoyi and Simplice Fotsala had disappeared.

"These athletes. were part of a team that had a training camp in Warwick before getting to (the) Gold Coast", he said in a statement.

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Hours after Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton warned athletes who breached their visa conditions they'd be tracked down, locked up and deported, Sierra Leone's Ernest Jombla and Yusif Mansaray did not appear for their men's doubles match on Thursday morning.

Word of the missing African athletes first spread online around 6pm on Tuesday after three of them - a weightlifter and two boxers - failed to show up to their scheduled events.

The Cameroon team's press attaché Simon Molombe told news.com.au: "They just left in the night".

"When an athlete comes to Australia to compete in a competition we expect them to front up on the field and compete, so we are disappointed about that".

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"The pious hope is that they come back to the village and travel home with the others".

"We would appreciate them sticking within the law, enjoying themselves, but sticking within the law", organising committee boss Peter Beattie told reporters.

"Until it becomes a real issue in terms of visas and so forth we would obviously need to take that very seriously but right now it's a safety and welfare issue for those athletes from a Team Cameroon perspective".

"In the meantime, the other two weightlifters of the delegation, along with the basketball players and officials, have already left Australia and are presently airborne for Cameroon", he said.

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The Cameroon officials confirm the athletes have valid Australian visas until 15 May.

Commonwealth Games: 8 Cameroon athletes