Cameroonian Athletes Flee Commonwealth Games 2018

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- Jean-Jacques Cornish, EWN Africa correspondentIt is not unusual for athletes to go missing in this way at the Commonwealth Games, and now, they still have visas so they are not sought by the law.

When they arrived in Australia, they had a team of 40 members.

Six had finished competing, while the two boxers left the village without taking part in their events.

Babu, 28, will now miss the men's triple jump on Saturday.

Yombo's disappearance means O'Reilly advances to the semi-final and will at least receive a bronze medal. "Why did they take action on both athletes?"

Cameroon press attache Simon Molombe told Fairfax Media the athletes' whereabouts were unknown.

Ms Martin said that was because they failed to ensure compliance with the policy.

While coach Mark Hopkins may point to a "super-exciting young side with unlimited talent", the real trick will be convincing SASCOC to permit them to travel to the next big global competition - the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo.

Speaking to the BBC, Mr Molombe said: "The authorities are very disappointed with the deserters - some did not even compete".

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"It's very worrying, it's not good for the image of the country".

Games officials said the athletes had not breached their visas and were able to move around Australia as they liked.

It comes after Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton took the extraordinary step of warning athletes against trying to overstay their visas.

Commonwealth Games Federation chief executive David Grevemberg said his organisation was monitoring the situation but until the missing Cameroonians broke Australian law it was a matter for them and their team officials.

"These athletes are guests here in Australia at this time, they're still within their visas, they have the right to travel freely", he said.

It's not the first time Australia has dealt with cases of missing global athletes, mostly from African nations, suspected of fleeing in a bid to seek asylum.

In 2012, seven Cameroonian athletes disappeared in the same condition while in London for the Olympics.

A men's squash pairing from Sierra Leone and a Rwandan para-powerlifting coach are the latest African absentees to go missing from the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games.

The Cameroon team manager, Victor Agbor Nso, told the country's state broadcaster that the Cameroonian ministry of sports have been notified.