Ugandan Olympic athlete disappears a week before the start of the Tokyo Games

A Ugandan Olympic team athlete who was training in a western Japanese city before the games began has disappeared within a week, local authorities confirmed Friday to Effie.

Officials in the town of Izumisano, Osaka Prefecture (west), where the African delegation has its accommodation and training facilities before the competition, noticed the absence of 20-year-old weightlifter Julius Sekitoliko when he was not presented Friday to hand over weights. Daily COVID-19 test required.

They couldn’t find him in his room

When they went to look for him in his room, he was not there. “At 12:20 we called the police and the officials available went to look for him, but he’s still missing,” the city council’s chief of Olympic affairs said in detail by phone. The athlete was in the room last night, as confirmed by his colleagues.

He is one of the nine athletes on the team who have been in isolation after two COVID-19 cases were detected upon his arrival in the country on June 19 and have continued to undergo daily tests stipulated in Tokyo 2020’s antiviral regulations.


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The official responsible for the tests that all the Ugandan team members underwent explained that “the result of all the tests so far has been negative.”

Ugandan Olympic team members arrive at Narita International Airport while a team member has tested positive for the coronavirus (COVID-19) and is denied entry to Japan, in Narita, east of Tokyo, Japan on June 19, 2021, in this photo by Kyodo.  Kyodo / via Reuters Attention Editors - This image was provided by a third party.  Compulsory credit.  Japan is out.  There are no commercial or editorial sales in Japan.  This image has been processed by Reuters to improve quality, and an unprocessed version is provided separately.  REFILE

Ugandan team members upon arrival at Narita Airport (Tokyo)

Kyodo / Reuters

Strict regulations put in place to hold the “bubble” Tokyo Games in the midst of the pandemic ban athletes or other event participants from traveling anywhere other than their hotel, training venue or locations previously approved by the organization.

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