Ugandan weightlifter Julius Ssekitoleko has been reported missing in Izumisano City where he was training in hope of competing at Tokyo 2020 ©Getty Images

Officials in Izumisano City have announced a member of the Ugandan team has been reported missing prior to the Olympic Games here.

A COVID-19 test was set to be conducted on weightlifter Julius Ssekitoleko at the Ugandan team hotel in a city located more than 500 kilometres away from Tokyo. 

According to Yahoo Japan, the official who was set to conduct the test was unable to locate Ssekitoleko in his room.

Ssekitoleko’s team-mates reportedly confirmed his disappearance, with police having launched a search.

"One member of the Ugandan delegation, which the city received as a host town, has gone missing and cannot be reached," an Izumisano City statement read.

"The city is making all efforts to search for the individual.

“We have reported the matter to police."

An update was provided by city officials, who reported the discovery of a note left by Ssekitoleko which said "I want to live in Japan because my life in Uganda is difficult."

According to Agence France-Presse, Ssekitoleko is believed to have taken the train from Kumatori Station, before changing to take the Shinkansen.

He is then believed to have left the train in Nagoya.

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) confirmed it has contacted the Ugandan Olympic Committee for further details.

"The IOC has been informed about the situation of one Ugandan athlete," an IOC spokesperson told insidethegames.

"We are in touch with the National Olympic Committee in order to clarify the situation."

Ssekitoleko was part of a nine-member Ugandan delegation to travel to the city last month, with two subsequently testing positive for COVID-19.

One case was reported at the airport, with the second discovered after the team had arrived at the training camp.

This led to the Ugandan team being placed in quarantine, while prompting discussions in Japan over how the country could strengthen protocols for participants arriving for the Games.

The team was cleared to return to training after completing their quarantine period.

Julius Ssekitoleko was part of a nine-member Ugandan delegation to arrive last month ©Getty Images
Julius Ssekitoleko was part of a nine-member Ugandan delegation to arrive last month ©Getty Images

Ssekitoleko had been hoping to compete in the men’s weightlifting competition at the Games.

According to Ugandan newspaper Daily Monitor, Ssekitoleko was informed Wednesday (July 14) that he had missed out on a place in the men’s 67 kilogram competition, having been on a waiting list.

Uganda Olympic Committee (UOC) general secretary Beatrice Ayikoru was reported as saying Ssekitoleko was due to fly home on Tuesday (July 20).

Ssekitoleko had been on the waiting list after winning two bronze medals at the African Weightlifting Championships last month.

The disappearance of the 20-year-old, who competed at the 2018 Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast, will be a concern for organisers who have been attempting to reassure the public that strict COVID-19 protocols are being followed.

Athletes are restricted to training and competition venues throughout their stay in Japan.

A member of Uganda’s rugby sevens team went missing last month in Monaco, after the team competed at the final Olympic qualification tournament.

Six Ugandan athletes were reported missing at the 2018 Commonwealth Games in the Gold Coast. 

Two Ugandan rugby sevens players went missing after the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow and were later found living at a hostel for asylum seekers in Cardiff.