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Russian, Romanian defect;
ask for asylum in Canada
By The Asseelated Press
MONTREAL - Two Olympic
athletes, one from Russia and
one from Romania, defected
yesterday and applied for refu-
gee status in Canada.
Walter Lambertus, a member
of the Romanian rowing team,
left the Olympic Village and ap-
plied for permanent residence
Lucille Sly, an immigrations
department official in Ottawa,
said the application of Lamber-
tus would be processed. It could
take as long as six months. "He
will be treated like everyone
else seeking immigrant status
and will have to wait his turn."
LAMBERTUS, who is single,
has been a physical education
student at Oradea, Romania. lie
placedl10th in single skulls row-
ing in the Olympics.
"I left for freedom," he said
in Niagara Falls, Ont., where
he is staying with Mr. and Mrs.
Frank Stein, his great-uncle and
great-aunt. "I can have freedom
He said he had informed the
Steins last week by telephone of
his decision to defect.
He said he told an Olympic
hostess Tuesday of his wish to
defect and later was put on a
bus for Niagara Falls. He took
with him only the colthes he
could carry in a sports bag.
"It's a whole new world,"
said Lambertus, who speaks
English well. "I can't believe
how wonderful everyone has
been in assisting me."
THE FIRST disclosure that
Lambertus had defected came
when A n d r i y Semotiuk, a
spokesman for a group calling
itself the Ukrainian Olympic
Committee, told a news confer-
ence yesterday a Romanian
male athlete of Ukrainian de-
scent hasapplied for political
asylum in Canada.
Semotiuk refused to name the
athlete pending the outcome of
his application to the Canadian
government. Sly later disclosed
that it was Lambertus.
The Ukrainian Olympic Com-
mittee is an unofficial group
supporting the independent par-
ticipation - separate from the
Soviet Union-of the Ukraine in
MEANWHILE, Russian swim-
mer Sergei Nemtsanov appear-
ed in a Canadian immigration
department office accompanied
by an unidentified Canadian
friend, and applied for refugee
status, immigration department
official Patrick Goudreau said.
Goudreau could not identify
the Canadian but said Nemtsa-
nov's friend is not a member of
the Canadian Olympic team.
A spokesman for the Soviet
Olympic delegation would nei-
ther confirm nor deny that the
17-year-old Nemtsanov had de-
fected. 'Nemtsanov is not in
the Village now," the spokes-
man said. "I don't know where
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athlete, the big Cuban begged to be excused, saying, "I promised
my friend, Alberto Juantorena, that I would come to the stadium
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