KHARTOUM, Sudan (AP) — Sudan is denying that one of its Olympic runners has defected in London, while confirming that three athletes in another competition have requested asylum.
The Sudanese Embassy in London first confirmed, then denied that one of the country's two participants in the Olympics asked for asylum.
In its first comment Sunday, the official SUNA news agency said both "are fully engaged in the competition."
The three athletes who asked for asylum were competing in the in IAAF World Junior Championship in Barcelona. They disappeared from their delegation and turned up at a police station in London, the SUNA agency said. The fourth returned to Sudan.
It is not clear what prompted the athletes to seek asylum. This comes during a government crackdown on protests over Sudan's new austerity measures.