London - The Sudanese Embassy on Friday denied that one of its Olympic runners had applied for asylum in the United Kingdom, contradicting earlier reports.
A British government official confirmed the asylum request to The Associated Press earlier Friday. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to talk to the press. Other British media outlets cited police.
The male Olympian allegedly appeared Tuesday night at a police station in the northern English city of Leeds, the training camp base for several countries' Olympic teams, including Sudan.
"We herewith categorically refute allegations ... that a Sudanese member of those who qualified for the Olympic competition and have arrived in London is either missing (or) sought political asylum," the Sudanese Embassy said in a statement.
Sudan's Embassy was closed when the statement was issued and not accepting phone calls. Embassy officials did not respond to AP emails seeking comment.
An official identifying himself as the mission chief of Sudan's Olympic Committee declined to comment when reached by telephone. The official also declined to give his name.
The alleged asylum seeker's name likewise has not been disclosed. But the British official told the AP he was competing as an 800-meter runner.