The Maryland Cycling Classic started with one fewer rider than expected, and in the age of COVID-19, Samuel Mugisha (ProTouch) posing as a DNS has garnered little attention. However, this turned out to be quite a different story from the usual race abandonment, with the team announcing that he had been reported missing.
According to the ProTouch team, Mugisha flew to Washington DC Dulles Airport as scheduled on Tuesday, arriving early Wednesday morning, but did not show up for transportation to Baltimore.
“The team tried to contact him on Wednesday but his cell phone number was not receiving any calls or messages,” ProTouch said. Cycling news. “Thursday morning, having had no contact, the team and organizers contacted the airport police and reported him as missing.”
It does not appear that the disappearance is being considered suspicious.
“Police reviewed security cameras and confirmed his arrival and [there is a] recording it on his phone and leaving the airport exit where he got into a vehicle with two people he clearly knew,” the team said. “He did not arrive at the hotel from the team or the race he was registered to participate in on Sunday. “
Mugisha, 24, last raced at the Commonwealth Games in Warwick last month and was due to compete in the inaugural Maryland Cycling Classic on Sunday. The team tried to reach him via email, social media and cell phone, but he did not respond.
“We don’t know his intentions at the moment, but he missed his flight back to Rwanda today, so it’s safe to assume he plans to stay at that time.”
ProTouch expressed their displeasure with the runner going AWOL in the United States, as obtaining visas for African runners has been a difficult and laborious undertaking which has affected the careers of many professional Africans trying to run in Europe or the United States.
“Unfortunately, this irresponsible behavior has far-reaching consequences for an already difficult process of obtaining visas for African runners. Hopefully this will not undo all the hard work done to streamline this process and allow more athletes to compete. at international level,” the team said.
Whether or not Mugisha will face disciplinary action when found remains to be seen.
“No decision has been taken at this time regarding his contract with the team. We will seek advice in this regard in due course,” the team statement concluded.