5 Cameroon athletes reported missing at Commonwealth Games

GOLD COAST, Australia (AP) Cameroon officials say eight of their athletes at the Commonwealth Games have gone missing from the athletes village, with two failing to turn up for competitions.

The officials say the five boxers and three weightlifters left the Gold Coast village over the past three days but authorities say they have not broken any law.

Boxer Ulrich Rodrigue Yombo failed to appear at the weigh-in on Wednesday for his quarterfinal bout in the 81-kilogram division against Harley O’Reilly, handing the Canadian the fight.

Cameroon chef de mission Victor Agbo Nso say team officials had notified Australian police.

”These athletes … were part of a team that had a training camp before getting to Gold Coast,” he said in a statement. ”But out here, only six of them effectively took part in their respective competitions, while two left without competing.”

Commonwealth Games Federation chief executive David Grevemberg said it was disappointing the athletes didn’t show up when they were scheduled to compete.

”But these athletes are guests here in Australia, they are still within their visas and they have the right to travel freely,” Grevemberg said. ”Right now we are worried about safety and welfare of the athletes and we are taking this very seriously and monitoring the situation with team Cameroon.”

Gold Coast organizing committee chairman Peter Beattie said he wasn’t surprised and it was something that happened at other games.

Beattie, a former Queensland state premier, said the authorities had mechanisms in place to deal with the situation if the athletes overstay their visas.

”I don’t want to be blase … (but) I don’t get too excited about this,” Beattie said. ”There is a system to deal with this and it will be dealt with.”