Commonwealth Games 2022: Sri Lanka athletes missing, Birmingham police investigate, passports confiscated

Commonwealth Games 2022: Sri Lanka athletes missing, Birmingham police investigate, passports confiscated

Three members of the Sri Lankan team have gone missing at the Commonwealth Games, the team has confirmed.

The Sri Lankan team says it has not been able to find two athletes and one team official.

Local news agencies in Sri Lanka are reporting the team’s chef de mission, retired army general Dampath Fernando, has now confiscated the passports for all remaining athletes and officials the country brought to Birmingham.

Sri Lankan team spokesperson Gobinath Sivarajah has told The Telegraph in India that Birmingham police are investigating the disappearance and have launched an official inquiry

“We have asked all athletes and officials to submit their passports to our respective venue officials in all the villages after the incident,” he said.

“The police are investigating and the three cannot cross the UK borders. What has happened is really unfortunate.”

The team has confirmed reports that the athletes involved are a wrestler, a judo athlete and a judo coach. The team says they have not been since Monday.

The judo and wrestling events are taking place at Coventry Arena, a 30-minute drive from Birmingham.

It is feared the three individuals do not want to return to Sri Lanka, which is facing the worst economic crisis in the country’s history.

Sri Lanka had picked a 161-member contingent, made up of 110 athletes and l51 officials.

The athletes and officials were granted standard 180-day visas by the British government for the event.

The scandal has overshadowed one of the country’s greatest athletics results after Yupun Abeykoon won the bronze medal in the men’s 100m at Alexander Stadium in a time of 10.14 on Thursday morning (AEST).

At the Gold Coast Games in 2018, a third of the Cameroon team went missing after the event was completed.

It was revealed the following year that 230 athletes and officials had made asylum claims to remain in Australia. 217 of those who were rejected.

Sri Lanka is on the brink of a humanitarian crisis. The economy has collapsed under the weight of $75 billion of debt.


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