13 athletes have vanished at the Commonwealth Games — and it’s hardly the first time it’s happened

  • Eight Cameroon athletes have vanished without a trace at the 2018 Commonwealth Games in Queensland, Australia.
  • Five other athletes from African countries have also gone missing — but it is not the first time athletes have disappeared.
  • Cameroon athletes were also reported missing at the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow.
  • And 25 athletes vanished at the 2006 games in Melbourne.

 

Eight Cameroon athletes have vanished without a trace at the 2018 Commonwealth Games in Australia — and it's hardly the first time it has happened.

Cameroon sent a delegation of 24 members to the Gold Coast in Queensland to take part in the Commonwealth Games — an Olympic style multi-sport event for athletes from the Commonwealth of Nations.

However, a third of the country's members have gone missing over the course of three days.

Their disappearance has been reported to Australian police but Cameroon spokesman Simon Molombe does not expect to see them again. "I don't think they will be back," he said, according to CNN.

Cameroon officials named the following athletes as missing:

  1. Olivier Matam Matam (weightlifter)
  2. Arcangeline Fouodji Sonkbou (weightlifter)
  3. Petit Minkoumba (weightlifter)
  4. Christian Ndzie Tsoye (boxer)
  5. Simplice Fotsala (boxer)
  6. Arsene Fokou (boxer)
  7. Ulrich Yombo (boxer)
  8. Christelle Ndiang (boxer)

"The authorities are very disappointed with the deserters — some did not even compete," Molombe said, according to the BBC. "The pious hope is that they come back to the village and travel home with the others."

Cameroon is not the only nation to lose its athletes as the Daily Mail has claimed two Sierra Leone athletes, two Ugandan competitors, and one athlete from Rwanda are also unaccounted for.

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GOLD COAST, AUSTRALIA - APRIL 12: India's Rahul Aware, in blue, wrestles with Canada's Steven Takahashi to win the Gold medal in men's Freestyle 57Kg wrestling on day eight of the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games at Carrara Sports and Leisure Centre on April 12, 2018 on the Gold Coast, Australia. (Photo by Scott Barbour/Getty Images)
England's Jake Sheaf (R) has a shot blocked by New Zealand's Sam O'Dea (L) during the bronze medal match in the men's beach volleyball at the 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games on April 12, 2018. / AFP PHOTO / WILLIAM WEST (Photo credit should read WILLIAM WEST/AFP/Getty Images)
GOLD COAST, AUSTRALIA - APRIL 12: Canada's Jevon Balfour and Australia's Connor Evans compete during the Men's Freestyle 74 kg Bronze match Wrestling on day eight of the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games at Carrara Sports and Leisure Centre on April 12, 2018 on the Gold Coast, Australia. (Photo by Scott Barbour/Getty Images)
New Zealand's Ben O'Dea dives for the ball as he and teammate Sam O'Dea win the bronze medal match against England in the men's beach volleyball at the 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games on April 12, 2018. / AFP PHOTO / WILLIAM WEST (Photo credit should read WILLIAM WEST/AFP/Getty Images)
Malaysia Pandelela Rinong competes during the diving women's 10m platform final during the 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games at the Optus Aquatic Centre in the Gold Coast on April 12, 2018. / AFP PHOTO / Fran�is-Xavier MARIT (Photo credit should read FRANCOIS-XAVIER MARIT/AFP/Getty Images)
Vanuatu's Linline Matauatu (R) returns the ball watched by teammate Miller Pata (L) on the way to winning the bronze medal during the women's beach volleyball at the 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games on April 12, 2018. / AFP PHOTO / WILLIAM WEST (Photo credit should read WILLIAM WEST/AFP/Getty Images)
England's Zharnel Hughes reacts after the Men's 200m Final at the Carrara Stadium during day eight of the 2018 Commonwealth Games in the Gold Coast, Australia. (Photo by Mike Egerton/PA Images via Getty Images)
GOLD COAST, AUSTRALIA - APRIL 12: Brittany O'Brien of Australia competes in the Women's 10m Platform Diving Final on day eight of the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games at Optus Aquatic Centre on April 12, 2018 on the Gold Coast, Australia. (Photo by Clive Rose/Getty Images)
GOLD COAST, AUSTRALIA - APRIL 12: Stephanie Kershaw of Australia controls the ball during Women's Semi Final Hockey match between Australia and India on day eight of the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games at Gold Coast Hockey Centre on April 12, 2018 on the Gold Coast, Australia. (Photo by Matt King/Getty Images)
GOLD COAST, AUSTRALIA - APRIL 12: Bronze medalist Dina Asher-Smith, gold medalist Shaunae Miller-Uibo of the Bahamas and silver medalist Shericka Jackson of Jamaica celebrate after the Women's 200 metres final during athletics on day eight of the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games at Carrara Stadium on April 12, 2018 on the Gold Coast, Australia. (Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)
GOLD COAST, AUSTRALIA - APRIL 12: A general view as Zharnel Hughes of England crosses the line to win gold ahead of Jereem Richards of Trinidad and Tobago inthe Men's 200 metres final during athletics on day eight of the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games at Carrara Stadium on April 12, 2018 on the Gold Coast, Australia. Hughes was later disqualified for obstructing Trinidad and Tobago?s Jereem Richards. (Photo by Dan Mullan/Getty Images)
GOLD COAST, AUSTRALIA - APRIL 12: Jazmin Sawyers of Englandcompetes in the Women's Long Jump final during athletics on day eight of the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games at Carrara Stadium on April 12, 2018 on the Gold Coast, Australia. (Photo by Michael Steele/Getty Images)
GOLD COAST, AUSTRALIA - APRIL 12: Yona Knight-Wisdom of Jamaica warms up before competing in the Men's 3m Springboard Diving Final during Diving on day eight of the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games at Optus Aquatic Centre on April 12, 2018 on the Gold Coast, Australia. (Photo by Quinn Rooney/Getty Images)
Australia's Taliqua Clancy (L) and teammate Mariafe Artacho del Solar (R) react during the women's beach volleyball final against Canada at the 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games on April 12, 2018. / AFP PHOTO / WILLIAM WEST (Photo credit should read WILLIAM WEST/AFP/Getty Images)
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Athletes have a habit of going missing

This is not the first time athletes have gone missing at the Commonwealth Games.

Two Cameroonians went missing at the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow. The BBC claimed they were last seen at the country's training camp near the Aberdeen Sports Village in Scotland, before the Commonwealth Games had even started. One was found in London, England three days later.

In total, UK Government officials lost track of 39 foreign athletes who attended the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, according to The Sunday Post. One year on from the Games, in 2015, the Home Office admitted they did not know where the athletes were as they were "unable to confirm" whether they had even left Britain.

Athletes vanishing has been a theme at many games, as noted by Public Radio International. In a report published four years ago, PRI said: "Twenty-five athletes went missing during the 2006 Commonwealth Games in Melbourne, Australia. Another 26 disappeared during the Commonwealth Games in Manchester in 2002."

In most cases, PRI stressed, athletes "disappeared by choice."

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