TVNZ | A group of athletes who disappeared while they were supposed to be competing at the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games last month have finally resurfaced with their visas due to expire later tonight.
Daily Telegraph reports that the group of African athletes who went missing are now consulting with the Refugee Advice and Casework Service in Randwick, in Sydney’s eastern suburbs.
Approximately 19 athletes disappeared during the Games, including five boxers and three wrestlers from Cameroon – one of whom was meant to face Kiwi fighter David Nyika in the heavyweight section quarter-finals.
The Australian Government emphasised during last month’s event that the athletes had not breached their visas by leaving the athletes’ village but they were warnings they would be tracked down as well as an urge to depart before the visas expired today.
“If they don’t want to be held in detention or locked up at the local watch house, they’d better jump on a plane before the 15th and comply with their visa’s conditions,” Australia’s Home Affairs minister Peter Dutton said.
It isn’t the first case of athletes disappearing during the Commonwealth Games.
In 2012, seven athletes from Cameroon were reported missing while back in 2006 in Melbourne, 14 athletes from Sierra Leone were eventually granted asylum after more than 40 competitors went missing.