Cuban rowers defected to U.S. during Pan Am Games

ST. CATHARINES, ONT. (WIVB) — There was a bizarre turn of events at the Pan American Games in Canada.

The coach of the Cuban rowing team says four rowers have defected.

He believes they left the team and travelled to the U.S.

Investigators say the missing rowers are in touch with teammates through Facebook.

The Pan Am Games are based in Toronto but the rowing venue is in St. Catharines, Ontario.

The coach of the team, Juan Carlos Reyes said two of the oarsmen, Leosmel Ramos and Wilber Turro, abandoned the team on Saturday.  Manuel Suarez and Orlando Sortolongo participated in some of the earlier races before leaving. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review. Note: Comments containing links are not allowed.

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