3 Sudanese athletes sought asylum in Britain

Sudan is denying that one of its Olympic runners has defected in

London, while confirming that three athletes in another competition

have requested asylum.

The Sudanese Embassy in London first confirmed, then denied that

one of the country’s two participants in the Olympics asked for


In its first comment Sunday, the official SUNA news agency said

both ”are fully engaged in the competition.”

The three athletes who asked for asylum were competing in the in

IAAF World Junior Championship in Barcelona. They disappeared from

their delegation and turned up at a police station in London, the

SUNA agency said. The fourth returned to Sudan.

It is not clear what prompted the athletes to seek asylum. This

comes during a government crackdown on protests over Sudan’s new

austerity measures.