- July 28, 2021
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Police Release Weightlifter Julius Ssekitoleko on Bond
Ugandan Weightlifter Julius Ssekitoleko has finally been released on police bond after six days of detention since his return from Japan where he had disappeared from an Olympic training camp.
According to CID spokesperson, Mr. Charles Mansio Twiine, the Olympic team officials who are still in Japan will need to explain the events resulting in Ssekitoleko’s disappearance within the camp once they return after the Olympics games.
Ssekitoleko, 24, was tracked down in Japan last Tuesday, several days after he fled from an Olympic training camp in an act a Ugandan minister had branded ‘unacceptable conduct and treachery’.
On Friday, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said Ssekitokelo who was greeted by officialdom when he flew into Entebbe airport had ‘violated the code of conduct of the Ugandan Olympic team and would now undergo counseling.
Ugandan officials said the athlete had acknowledged he wouldn’t be ready to compete at the Games because he didn’t meet Olympic standards within the latest international rankings.
A note was found in Ssekitoleko’s bedroom during which he said he wanted to figure in Japan and asked that his belongings be sent to his family in Uganda.
Salim Musoke Ssenkungu, president of the Ugandan Weightlifting Federation, said Ssekitoleko had been training ‘very hard’ for his first Olympic weightlifting competition.
“He’s not from a rich family so it took a lot of interest and energy from him to be successful,” Ssenkungu said.
State Minister for Foreign Affairs Henry Okello Oryem said last week that the Ugandan government had already apologized to the govt of Japan, adding: ‘It was unacceptable conduct and treachery.’
On Friday, the govt said during a statement it had been ‘committed to (Ssekitoleko’s) continuous rehabilitation’ to assist him in his career, ‘but also help him understand how such acts of misconduct can’t only affect him as an athlete but also other athletes within the sports sector and therefore the nation at large.