Cuban ballplayer on trip to US tells newspaper he is defecting

  • Updated: July 17, 2013 - 6:30 PM

DES MOINES, Iowa — Cuban baseball player Misael Siverio tells a Spanish-language newspaper he has defected to the United States.

Siverio was part of the Cuban national team that traveled to Iowa for an exhibition game against a collegiate all-star team from the U.S. But he tells El Nuevo Herald in Miami he made the decision to leave his country "for my future and my family."

Siverio was not listed when Team USA released an updated roster for Cuba on Tuesday night. Team USA CEO Paul Seiler tells The Associated Press that, from Cuba's perspective, Siverio is no longer a member of their delegation.

Seiler and Antonio Becali, the head of the Cuban delegation, declined further comment to AP.

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