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London loss: 7 Cameroon Olympians 'disappeared'

The Olympic games provide athletes with all sorts of opportunities — including, apparently, opting out of a return home.
Thomas essomba
Paddy Barnes (R) of Ireland defends against Thomas Essomba (L) of Cameroon during their round of 16 Light-Flyweight match of the London 2012 Olympic Games on August 4, 2012 in London. Essomba is one of seven Cameroonian athletes who has gone missing from the Olympic village. (JACK GUEZ/AFP/Getty Images)

London's Olympic Games and the case of the missing Cameroon athletes: Where's Miss Marple?

Probably not necessary to pull in one of Britain's most famous fictional sleuths for this case.

"What began as rumor has finally turned out to be true," games official David Ojong said in a statement quoted by Reuters. Seven athletes from Cameroon — five boxers, a swimmer and a soccer player — "have disappeared from the Olympic Village." 

The motive behind the move is likely no mystery, said Reuters, with the group believed to have high-tailed it somewhere in Europe to seek a better life.

More from GlobalPost: Cyprus, Grenada win their first medals; Chile's Tomás González country's first Olympic gymnast

The soccer player, Drusille Ngako, was the first to bounce. Her disappearance was followed by swimmer Paul Ekane Edingue, then boxers Thomas Essomba, Christian Donfack Adjoufack, Abdon Mewoli, Blaise Yepmou Mendouo and Serge Ambomo, who went missing Sunday, said Ojong, according to Reuters

But they're not alone. Fifteen-year-old Ethiopian torchbearer Natnael Yemane also went on the run in June, disappearing from his Nottingham hotel, said BBC

While Cameroon has one of the highest levels of corruption in the world, according to BBC, its population of 20 million also boasts the highest level of reading and writing on the African continent.

The small central African nation has been ruled by leader Paul Biya since 1982. Nearly 50 percent of the population lives under the poverty line, according to the CIA World Factbook

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