An Olympian claims political asylum in the UK

Following the furore last night over the North Korean football team being mistakenly listed alongside a South Korean flag, reports of a new Olympic diplomatic incident emerged on Thursday.

A middle distance runner, believed to be of African origin, apparently handed himself in to a police station in Leeds yesterday to claim political asylum. While the UK Border Agency is remaining tight-lipped about the affair – and points out that it never comments on individual cases – government officials confirmed that the sportsman had claimed he was being persecuted in his home country.

Unusually, the application for asylum was made before the athlete had even competed in the event he is due to take part in.