GOLD COAST: Eight Cameroonian team members have gone missing from their accommodation at the Commonwealth Games in Australia.

This is not the first time Cameroon competitors have made an unscheduled exit from an event. In 2012, seven Cameroonian athletes disappeared while in London for the Olympics.

Spokesman Simon Molombe said officials viewed their disappearance it as “desertion” and that the missing athletes had been reported to Australian police.

The three weightlifters and five boxers were last seen at different times on Monday and Tuesday, he said.

Cameroon said the group had valid Australian visas until May 15.

The missing athletes were weightlifters Olivier Matam Matam, Arcangeline Fouodji Sonkbou and Petit Minkoumba, and boxers Christian Ndzie Tsoye, Simplice Fotsala, Arsene Fokou, Ulrich Yombo and Christelle Ndiang.

Molombe said: “The authorities are very disappointed with the deserters – some did not even compete. The pious hope is that they come back to the village and travel home with the others.”

The Australian government has warned athletes against overstaying their visas.

The Commonwealth Games Federation said it would monitor the situation but athletes had “the right to travel freely” on their visas.

The Australian Federal Police has been notified of the development, according to Kate Jones, a Queensland state government minister.