Former athletics world medallist Quinonez shot dead

In this file photo taken on October 02, 2019 bronze medallist Ecuador's Alex Quinonez poses on the podium during the medal ceremony for the Men's 200m at the 2019 IAAF World Athletics Championships at the Khalifa International stadium in Doha. PHOTO/AFP

What you need to know:

  • Quinonez -- who was suspended prior to the Tokyo Olympics due to "breach of his whereabouts obligations" -- was also hailed by Ecuador's President Guillermo Lasso.

Ecuador's 200 metres world bronze medallist Alex Quinonez was shot dead in the port city of Guayaquil, authorities announced on Saturday.

Quinonez, 32, and another person were found dead close to midnight local time on Friday, according to local police.

"With great sadness, we confirm the murder of our sportsman Alex Quinonez," the country's Sports Ministry announced on Twitter.

"We have lost a great sportsman, someone who allowed us to dream, who moved us...he was the greatest sprinter this country produced."

Quinonez -- who was suspended prior to the Tokyo Olympics due to "breach of his whereabouts obligations" -- was also hailed by Ecuador's President Guillermo Lasso.

"We offer our sincerest condolences to his family," he tweeted.

"May he rest in peace. Those who take the lives of Ecuadoreans will not remain unpunished.

"We will act with force."

Ecuador's Olympic Committee said the death of Quinonez "leaves us with profound pain" and that his "legacy will forever stay in our hearts".

Violence has been spiking dramatically in Ecuador in recent months. Between January and October this year, the country registered almost 1,900 homicides, compared to about 1,400 in all of 2020, according to the government.  

Lasso on Monday declared a state of emergency in the country grappling with a surge in drug-related violence, and ordered the mobilisation of police and military in the streets.

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