Man detained after athletes village altercation

00:03, Jul 31 2014
Francois Etoundi
BRONZE WINNER: Francois Etoundi.

A bronze medal winning Australian weightlifter has been detained by police over an alleged altercation at the Commonwealth Games athletes village in Glasgow.

It was understood Scottish police would allege in court today that Francois Etoundi assaulted a Welsh athlete.

A Team Wales spokesperson has confirmed that a member of their Commonwealth Games team was assisting police.

"We're aware of an incident that occurred overnight involving a member of Team Wales and we're currently working with Police Scotland to assist them with their enquiries," the spokesperson said.

"Whilst the facts around the matter are being established it would be wrong for us to comment any further."

The 29-year-old was detained after police responded to a report of a disturbance at the 35-hectare village, located nearby Celtic Stadium in the city's east end, at about 6am Wednesday (NZT 5pm Wednesday).


Etoundi was one of three lifters that represented Cameroon in the Melbourne Commonwealth Games in 2006 before staying after their competition visas had expired and seeking asylum.

It looked to be a substantial boost for Australian weightlifting, but two of the three have now caused major issues for the sport.

Along with Etoundi was lifter Simplice Ribouem, who was controversially denied gold in Glasgow earlier this week, and Daniel Koum.

Koum was at the centre of an alleged blackmail storm prior to the London Olympics, in which he was accused of demanding $5000 in a lead-up event or he would refuse to lift, a move that would have cost Australia its only spot at the Olympics.

Koum always denied any wrongdoing - but never denied accepting the money - and fell out spectacularly with Australian weightlifting officials.

After a flurry of legal manouvres, he served a 12 month suspension from the sport that ended at the start of the year but hasn't been re-registered with the Australian team.

He lifted in Glasgow, but for his former nation Cameroon, missing the medals and blaming Australian officials for his absence from the podium.

Ribouem was in the middle of a controversy of his own, but confined only to the sport. He was leading the men's 94kg division, but dropped to silver after Papua New Guinea's Steven Kari was green-lighted on what replays would later prove to be an illegal lift.

Sydney Morning Herald