The government of Australia is preparing to deport two Ugandan athletes who vanished during the 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games.
Uganda fielded a team of 69 athletes and six of the team members vanished during the April 4-15 Games.
“The Australian government has arrested two athletes and they will be repatriated soon. Of course we had given their passports to the Australian Police and they have been looking for them,” John Bosco Onyik, the Board Chairman of Uganda’s National Council of Sports (NCS) told KweséESPN on Friday.
“I cannot disclose the names of the two athletes at this moment. But we have always advised these athletes to follow the right channels if they want to become professionals in other countries.
The six Ugandan athletes who remained in Australia are two weightlifters – Irene Kasubo and Kalidi Batuusa – two boxers – Regan Ssimbwa and Nasir Bashir – a table tennis player, Halima Nambozo, and cyclist, Vienna Ssekanga.
Onyik explained that although some of the athletes who vanished requested asylum from the Australian government, none of them is yet to succeed.
But the Ugandan State Minister in charge of sports, Charles Bakkabulindi, has maintained that he supports that the athletes who absconded and vanished the Games be deported.
“We cannot allow this kind of indiscipline because every time athletes vanish then is it tarnishing the image of the country,” Bakkabulindi told KweséESPN.
After the Games ended, the Australian home affairs minister, Peter Dutton, urged the athletes who stayed back in Australia to present themselves to authorities, and warned they could be deported for breaching visa conditions if they did not “self-declare”.
Uganda collected three goal medals and two bronze at the 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games.
Joshua Kiprui Cheptegei won two gold medals, while Stella Chesang also won gold and Mercyline Chelangat a bronze in athletics.
The second bronze medal was won by boxer Juma Miiro.68