Ugandan sportsman who had disappeared in Japan has returned home

Ugandan weightlifter Julius Ssekitoleko, who disappeared from a Tokyo Olympics training camp in Japan, has returned to Uganda, authorities announced on Friday July 23.

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Julius Ssekitoleko had disappeared from the Izumisano hotel, near Osaka (west), after failing to appear for a Covid-19 test.

“A cheating”

He was on a waiting list for the Olympics but recently lost all hope of participating for reasons of Olympic quotas.

In a note found in his hotel room, he said he wanted to work in Japan and asked that his things be sent to his family in Uganda.

The 20-year-old athlete was found ” safe and sound “ Tuesday by the Japanese police, prompting remonstrances from his country of origin, who spoke of “Unacceptable conduct and cheating”.

Psychological support

On Friday, announcing his return, the Ugandan Foreign Ministry said in a statement that Julius Ssekitoleko had “Violated the code of conduct” from the Ugandan Olympic team and was going to receive psychological support.

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The ministry said to itself “Committed to rehabilitation” of the athlete to help him in his career.

Uganda Weightlifting Federation president Salim Musoke Ssenkungu told AFP last week the athlete has been training ” very difficult “ for his first Olympic weightlifting competition.

Julius Ssekitoleko recently won the bronze medal at the African Weightlifting Championships.

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