Sudanese Olympic runner seeks political asylum in U.K. wire reports

LONDON -- An Olympic runner from Sudan has sought political asylum in the United Kingdom, but the Sudan Embassy in London has denied those claims.

A British government official who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to the press confirmed the asylum request. The man's name was not disclosed but the official said he was competing as an 800-meter runner.

The male Olympian showed up Tuesday night at the Bridewell Police Station near the northern English city of Leeds. A number of countries have training camps in the area, including the Chinese.

International Olympic Committee president Jacques Rogge said Friday he knew of a reported asylum request but had not independently verified the details.

"I know about the fact there has been a request but I don't know the decision of the government," Rogge said.

A Home Office spokeswoman refused to comment.

Asylum applications can take months to decide. In the interim, applicants can be held in detention.

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