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Athlete will play in Sao Paulo, after deserting Cuba at Pan Am Games
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10:09, August 01, 2007

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Cuba''s national men''s handball team player Rafael Capote, who vanished after leaving his delegation behind at the Pan American Games, confirmed on Tuesday that he will stay in Brazil and play for a team in Sao Paulo.

Capote told a local newspaper that he had been hiding in the municipality of Itapira, in the countryside of Sao Paulo state. On July 12, he left the Pan Am Village in Rio de Janeiro and took a taxi up to Sao Caetano do Sul, in Sao Paulo''s metropolitan region. There, he tried to apply for a position at the handball team Imes.

The team''s coach, Luiz Carlos de Araujo Jr., who initially did not accept the player in his squad, decided to help Capote and got him a place to stay in Itapira.

Following the end of the Games on Sunday, Capote decided to speak up, and announced that he will start practicing at Imes, which is scheduled to play the final round of the state''s handball championship.

"Now I am calmer in order to regularize my situation," said the player, who intends to request his right of asylum so that he can live and work in the country.

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