Cuban hurdler Ortega defects after Russia worlds
HAVANA (AP) — The Cuban athletics federation says hurdler Orlando Ortega has not returned to the country after competing in the world championships in Russia last week.
The federation said in a statement Wednesday that Ortega “abandoned” the Cuban delegation that competed in Moscow.
The 22-year-old Ortega did not make it past the first qualifying race in the 110 hurdles in Russia, finishing only sixth in his heat with a time of 13.69 seconds.
Considered one of Cuba’s best hurdlers since Dayron Robles, Ortega was sixth at the 2012 London Olympics and had the third-best time of the season heading into Moscow.
Ortega ran in the worlds after the Cuban federation dismissed a six-month indiscipline ban handed to him for refusing to compete in an event in Moscow in June.