Ugandan Weightlifter Goes Missing in Japan Ahead of Tokyo Olympics, Leaves Note Behind

(Photo by Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images)

One Olympic hopeful from Uganda has everybody on edge after he reportedly went missing from his hotel room just one week before the Tokyo Olympics.

Officials began searching for 20-year-old Julius Ssekitoleko on Friday after he didn’t turn in a saliva sample, according to the Associated Press via NBC News.

City officials said he was last seen in his hotel room in the early hours of Friday morning, but he was gone when they checked the room around noon. Unfortunately, the hotel does not have 24-hour surveillance.

It has seen been announced that he left a note saying his life in the African country was too difficult and he wanted to work in Japan, officials have said. The athlete purchased a Shinkansen bullet train ticket to Nagoya, according to CNN.

In the note, Ssekitoleko said he did not want to return to Uganda and also asked that his belongings get sent back to his wife. Katsunobu Kato, the chief cabinet secretary to the Japanese Prime Minister, said that police have been instructed to make an “all-out effort” to locate Ssekitoleko.

He did not qualify to participate in the Olympics and was scheduled to return to Uganda on July 20th. Salim Musoke, the president of the Uganda Weightlifting Federation, said all the athletes had turned over their passports and called the hotel “well-guarded.”

The Olympics kicks off on July 23 and runs through Aug. 8.