A coach and four athletes from the Eritrea men’s track and field team have been reported missing after participating in the World Athletics Championships in Eugene, Ore., according to a report by Fox12. The five were reported as missing on Sunday, the last day of the track and field meet.
According to a statement, the University of Oregon Police Department stated the five men had been staying in campus housing that was contracted for use during the World Athletics Championships. While the exact cause of their disappearance is unclear, the UOPD said that there is no evidence of foul play or anything other than that the men left the housing on their own.
The FBI field office in Portland also stated that they were aware of the disappearance but cited the UOPD as the current lead agency on the investigation.
The missing men include 18-year old Habtom Samuel Keleta, 18-year old Merhawi Mebrahtu Teweldebererhan, 24-year old Ande Filmon, 24-year old Yemane Teklehaim Haileselassie and 44-year old Berhe Asgedom Nigusse.
Eritrea, a nation in northeast Africa on the coast of the Red Sea, has been plagued by a civil war and political unrest. In the past, athletes from unstable nations have used tournaments such as the World Athletics Championships as a means of fleeing their home countries. However, authorities have not confirmed that this is the case for the Eritrean athletes.