Ten members of the Sri Lankan Commonwealth Games have gone ‘missing’ – including wrestlers, boxers and volleyball players. The eight men and two women have not returned to the athletes village in the last few days.
A wrestler, judo star and judo coach originally went AWOL last Monday, prompting concern. West Midlands Police managed to locate two out of the three.
But Sri Lankan team spokesperson Gobinath Sivarajah said the two chose not to return to the squad. And he has now revealed that a further seven team members have gone missing – leaving their bags behind.
The Sri Lankan contingent consists of 161 athletes, including 51 officials, who were granted 180-day visas by the government. They surrendered their passports, so cannot leave the country.
The Birmingham Commonwealth Games draws to a close this evening with a spectacular show planned at Alexander Stadium in Perry Barr. But Mr Sivarajah said most of the Sri Lankan team have now returned home – not including those who have gone AWOL.
He said: “We are missing 10 people. It’s a shame for Sri Lanka. We informed police.
“Two of them were located and the police said they came here legally and are staying legally. They left the athletes villages. Ten of them have left their baggage in the villages and taken their documents.
“The rest of the athletes have gone back to Sri Lanka, only 30 members of the team are left.”
Five of the 10 missing athletes also serve in the Sri Lankan armed forces. Mr Sivarajah said they include a male judo manager, a female judo athlete, two male wrestlers, three boxers, two male beach volleyball players and a female wrestler.
West Midlands Police said: “We are aware of eight reports of missing people relating to Birmingham 2022 and our enquiries continue to ensure they are safe and well. We are unable to offer any further information other than the above. ”