U of O: Four Ethiopian athletes missing from IAAF World Juniors

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EUGENE, Ore. -- Four Ethiopian athletes competing in the Oregon 2014 IAAF World Junior Championships went missing Saturday.

Officials noticed the 4 Ethiopians, three women and one man, had gone missing Saturday morning, said University Of Oregon senior communications director Julie Brown.

She said the U of O received unconfirmed reports that the four missing athletes could be staying with family or friends somewhere in the state.

"There is no reason to feel that they are in harm's way," Brown said.

Brown says that despite speculation, it also has not been confirmed if the athletes are seeking asylum.

Brown says the UO Police Department is leading a missing persons investigation with assistance from Eugene police, Portland police and the FBI.

The 30-member Ethiopian team consists of 17 females and 13 males, according to the International Association of Athletics Federations website.

The spokeswoman said that all the visiting IAAF World Junior Championships athletes stayed on the U of O campus during the week-long event.