ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s Ministry of Sports is investigating the circumstances behind the apparent disappearance of nine athletes and one official from the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham, UK, Sports Minister Roshan Ranasinghe said.
Ranasinghe told EconomyNext on Monday August 08 he has advised the Secretary to the Ministry of Sports to gather information regarding the athletes that have left the games village without prior notice.
“We need to know if they are in trouble, or in any other emergency or what happened to them. I have asked the Secretary to the Ministry to look into the matter. We have not received full information about the situation yet,” he said.
Initially, three athletes had left the village last week followed by seven more later.
A top sports official from Sri Lanka who is currently with the team in the UK said the athletes left the village after participating in their respective events.
“I can only assume that these athletes who were consistently training for a long period, may have taken a break since they have six-month valid visa,” the official said requesting anonymity.
“They left the games village after participating in their respective events. In fact once this was brought to the notice of the local authorities, they were of the view that they have a six-month valid visa.
“The official is a manager of the Judo team. The other athletes are from judo, wrestling, boxing and beach volleyball teams. The athletes are two females and seven males. We are hoping they will return,” the official said.
International media reported that Sri Lankan authorities who had been holding on to the entire teams’ passports as a deterrent against such disappearing acts has now released the passports back to the athletes upon a request from Birmingham authorities.
The senior official said most of the athletes who finished their events have already returned to Sri Lanka, while another 10 are still remaining till their events are over and hope to return on Tuesday August 09. (Colombo/Aug08/2022)