TOKYO (AP) — Local officials are searching for a Ugandan athlete who went missing in western Japan on Friday in a case raising questions over Japanese organizers’ oversight of Olympic participants amid local coronavirus concerns.
The missing 20-year-old man was training as part of the nine-member Ugandan team in Izumisano, Osaka prefecture, city officials said.
Teammates realized the athlete was absent around noon Friday when his saliva test sample was not delivered and they found his hotel room empty, city officials said. There was no training Friday morning and he was last seen in his room in the early hours of Friday.
After failing to find him inside the hotel, officials notified police for a broader search. There was no 24-hour monitoring at the hotel, and exactly when or how he got out of the hotel was unknown, officials said.
The pandemic-delayed Olympics begin on July 23 despite mounting concern about Tokyo’s upsurge of infections. The host city on Friday reported 1,271 cases, after hitting a six-month high at 1,308 the day before.