Missing Olympic athletes from the West African nation of Cameroon are proving worrisome to game officials, who say they disappeared without a trace on Monday.
Five male boxers, a female soccer player, and a male swimmer have all gone missing, prompting a search involving London police. Olympics spokeswoman Jackie Brock-Doyle says they will do everything they can to help, but are in a sticky position.
“We will do what we can to help,” Brock-Doyle said. “But we’re in quite a difficult position at the moment. They are able to be in the country based on their accreditations, which don’t expire until November.”
However, Aka Amuam Joseph–a member of the Cameroon Olympic committee–says he wouldn’t be surprised if the stresses of the games had caused them to defect. Joseph blames the country’s inability to provide adequate training facilities due to lack of money.
“Back home, they aren’t giving the proper training. They know if they are well trained, they could beat the person from another country,” he said. “It pains them to be here and see people beat them, who they can beat if they are well taken care of….Why do Nigerians not flee away? Why do people from South Africa not flee away? When you go there, you see infrastructure of the highest level. Why don’t they flee? They know that what they find in Europe, they find back home.”