Ugandan weightlifter Julius Ssekitoleko has been released after spending five days in detention.
Ssekitoleko was put under police custody after returning from Japan where he had disappeared from an Olympics Training camp. Until today, no clear charge had been preferred against him.
The athlete who had gone missing on Friday 16th July 2021 from the Olympic village facilities in Izumisano City, Japan returned to Uganda on 23rd July at 8:30am aboard Qatar Airways. He was in company of a Japanese official.
Ssekitoleko did not meet the set Olympic standards in the latest International rankings and consequently fled the Team Uganda camp during pre-Olympics training in western Japan last week.
In a joint operation between Japanese Authorities and the Ugandan Embassy in Japan, Ssekitoleko was tracked down in Mie Prefecture on 20th July 2021.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs says that the sportsman’s action unfortunately violated the Code of Conduct which each member of the Team pledged to abide by.
“This was signed by the Uganda Olympic Council (UOC), Tokyo 2020 and National Council of Sports. Sections (13) and (15) under part 2 are particularly illustrative of what was expected. Not only had he committed to returning to Uganda but he had also pledged to honour the Country, his Team, and the Olympic Games,” the Ministry’s Public Diplomacy Department said in a statement.
“Julius Ssekitoleko was seen off at the Airport by officials of the Ugandan Embassy and Japanese Immigration Authorities who ensured his safe and orderly passage out of Japan.”
Upon arrival at Entebbe International Airport, he was received by officials from Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Ministry of Education and Sports.
” The Government of Uganda is committed to continuous rehabilitation of the Athlete to assist him settle to further develop his career but also help him understand, how such acts of misconduct can not only affect him as an athlete but also other athletes in the Sports sector and the Nation at large,”the Ministry added.
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