Support The Moscow Times!

Cuban Athlete AWOL in Moscow

Cuban athlete Orlando Ortega appears to have defected after abandoning his national team during the IAAF World Athletics Championships in Moscow.

"Having run the 100-meter-hurdles, Orlando Ortega left the national team, deciding not to return home," a representative for the Cuban Athletics Federation said.

The federation did not give his whereabouts and Russia's Federal Migration Service said it has received no information about the AWOL sprint hurdler, Interfax reported Tuesday.

Ortega had been eliminated in an early rounds of the championships, where Cuba recorded its worst result since 1987, winning only two bronze medals and one silver.

Ortega, 22, is the most recent in a long tradition of athletes defecting from the impoverished Caribbean island-nation, which heavily supports athletics but places tight restriction on emigration and travel.

Last week Cuban baseball player and former most valuable player, Jose Dariel Abreu, was reported to have defected to pursue a multi-million dollar American baseball contract.

… we have a small favor to ask. As you may have heard, The Moscow Times, an independent news source for over 30 years, has been unjustly branded as a "foreign agent" by the Russian government. This blatant attempt to silence our voice is a direct assault on the integrity of journalism and the values we hold dear.

We, the journalists of The Moscow Times, refuse to be silenced. Our commitment to providing accurate and unbiased reporting on Russia remains unshaken. But we need your help to continue our critical mission.

Your support, no matter how small, makes a world of difference. If you can, please support us monthly starting from just $2. It's quick to set up, and you can be confident that you're making a significant impact every month by supporting open, independent journalism. Thank you.

Once
Monthly
Annual
Continue
paiment methods
Not ready to support today?
Remind me later.

Read more