Ugandan Weightlifter Is Missing in Japan Ahead of Tokyo Olympics

screenmixJuly 16, 2021

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One Olympic hopeful has reportedly gone missing in Japan ahead of the 2020 Tokyo Games

Officials began searching for Ugandan weightlifter Julius Ssekitoleko on Friday, July 16, after he didn’t turn in a saliva sample, according to the Associated Press via NBC News. City officials said he was last seen in his hotel room in the early hours of Friday morning, but he was gone when they checked the room around noon. The hotel reportedly doesn’t have 24-hour surveillance. 

The 20-year-old athlete has been training as part of a nine-member team near Izumisano, Osaka, but no training was held on Friday morning, the AP reports. 

Katsunobu Kato, the chief cabinet secretary to the Japanese Prime Minister, told The New York Times that police have been instructed to make an “all-out effort” to locate Ssekitoleko.

He did not qualify to participate in the Olympics and was scheduled to return to Uganda on Tuesday, July 20, according to Salim Musoke, the president of the Uganda Weightlifting Federation, to the NYT. Musoke said all the athletes had turned over their passports and called the hotel “well-guarded.”