London 2012: Sudan confirms three Olympic athletes have gone missing and are expected to seek asylum in Britain

Spokesman for Sudanese embassy in London said Al-Nazeer Abdul Gadir has already applied for asylum, while Sadam Hussein and Osman Yahya Omar are missing and expected to lodge their own claims soon.

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The Independent Online

Three Sudanese athletes who had been part of the country’s Olympic training squad are expected to seek political asylum in Britain.

A spokesman for the embassy in London said Al-Nazeer Abdul Gadir has already applied, while Sadam Hussein and Osman Yahya Omar are missing and expected to lodge their own claims soon.

It follows reports that an East African athlete had entered a police station in Leeds last week seeking asylum. All three runners had entered the country after being granted training squad visas to Britain

Ten Sudanese athletes – including Beijing 800m silver medalist Ismail Ahamed Ismail – had taken part in pre Games training camps at the University of Teesside

They were joined by a number of other athletes to help in preparations for the games.

Embassy spokesman Khalid Mustafa said that the men had hoped to qualify for the Olympics but had failed to achieve the necessary times in their events.

According to the United Nations refugee agency the UNHCR there were 25,455 asylum applications in the UK last year of which 790 were from Sudanese nationals.

Asylum applications peaked in 1993 during the civil war although the conflict in Darfur continues to destabilise the country which split in two in 2011 after the Christian and animist south voted for independence from the Muslim north.

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