Ugandan Olympian arrested in Japan after escape
Posted On July 21, 2021
KAMPALA, July 21 (Xinhua) – A Ugandan Olympian who fled to Japan has been arrested by the authorities there, an official told KAMPALA on Tuesday.
Donald Rukare, president of the Ugandan Olympic Committee, told Xinhua that Julius Ssekitoleko, a weightlifter, was arrested on Tuesday after escaping from the Olympic Village on July 16.
Ssekitoleko, along with other members, was supposed to take a COVID-19 PCR test, but instead disappeared.
Although Ssekitoleko was initially considered to make it to the Olympics through a quota system, the international weightlifting body revised the list and Ssekitoleko missed a spot at the Games in the 67kg category.
After the world weightlifting body announced that Ssekitoleko could not make it to the Olympics, he and his coach were due to return to Uganda on July 20.
Ugandan Sports Minister Hamsom Obua said it was good news that Ssekitoleko had been found.
“The athlete will certainly be questioned as to why he had to disappear and currently Japanese security is handling the case,” Obua added.
When the first group of Ugandan athletes traveled to Japan for pre-workout last month, they made headlines when two members tested positive for COVID-19.
Uganda, led by London 2012 Olympics gold medalist Steven Kiprotich, will send 26 athletes to compete in the Games. Ugandan athletes qualified in track and track events, boxing, swimming and rowing.