Queensland police have launched a criminal investigation into allegations that a Mauritian team official sexually assaulted one of the delegation’s athletes at the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games.
The allegations threaten to overshadow the start of the Games and come just hours before Wednesday’s opening ceremony.
“The Queensland police service is currently investigating a complaint in relation to an allegation of an assault of an aggravated nature involving an athlete and an official from the Mauritius team,” Queensland Police deputy commissioner Steve Gollschewski told reporters on Wednesday.
“We are giving it absolute priority and anticipate being able to resolve the issue over the coming days.”
Gollschewski said the accusations were not of a nature to preclude the accused from leaving the country.
The Mauritius Olympic Committee and sports ministry were unable to provide immediate comment when contacted by Reuters.
Mauritian media reported that team chef de mission Kaysee Teeroovengadum, the assistant secretary general of the Mauritius Olympic Committee, had quit his role at the April 4-15 Games.
Commonwealth Games Federation chief executive David Grevemberg said he was confident the “right safeguards” were in place to protect athletes.
However, he was unaware whether the accused was still in his role at the Games or residing at the athletes’ village.
“I’m not aware of exactly where he is at this point in time,” he said.
“There is absolutely, again, similar to cheating, zero tolerance for … abusive behaviour of any nature. There’s just no place for that at the Commonwealth Games.”