Cameroon athletes go missing

Robert Pitcairn who is teamed with Nicole Rossignol in the Queen's prize pairs is the oldest competitor at the

Eight athletes representing Cameroon at the Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast have been reported missing to Australian police by team officials.

There is a track record for athletes and officials disappearing in Australia during worldwide sporting competitions, with 25 delegates going missing at the 2006 Commonwealth Games in Melbourne and 80 athletes and officials outstaying their visas at the Sydney Olympics in 2000. But Secretary General of Nigeria Olympic Committee, NOC, Honourable Tunde Popoola who was livid sneered at the report describing it as baseless and disrespectful. Police in Oz, as well as state officials in Cameroon, have been officially notified. And to the glory of God, we've been a united family.

"We obviously have been in close contact with Cameroon officials", he said. Most hold nationalities that are deemed high-risk by immigration authorities and find it impossible to get visas outside of exceptional events, such as major games.

In regards to the current athletes missing on Australia's Gold Coast, organisers say their focus is to support teams in trying to track down the athletes.

The Cameroon team's press attaché Simon Molombe said: "They just left in the night".

The Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF) has suspended the two from competing and said they would be put on the next flight home.

Speaking to The Courier Mail in January, Mr Dutton said: "Australia welcomes the thousands of athletes, support staff and sports fans who will travel to the Gold Coast for the Commonwealth Games".

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They are 10 points behind fourth-placed Tottenham, and likely to miss out on a Champions League place. The only title we can win is the FA Cup so we go for that.

"When an athlete comes to Australia to compete in a competition we expect them to front up on the field and compete, so we are disappointed about that".

The Australian government - which has maintained a strict stance on overseas visitors entering the country - has warned athletes not to overstay their visas acquired for the Games.

Team Cameroon in an official statement on Wednesday confirmed six men and two women from the 40-strong team were missing.

"That includes Cameroon and any other athletes".

'Border security is aware of it - these people are still within their visa - but at the end of the day I would encourage them to return to the village'.

"The safety and welfare of those athletes from the Team Cameroon perspective is being taken very, very seriously, but we are obviously monitoring that situation with Team Cameroon".

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