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Belarusian sprinter in Olympics refuses to go house, to hunt asylum in Germany or Austria


Belarusian athlete Krystsina Tsimanouskaya talks with a police officer at Haneda worldwide airport in Tokyo, Japan Aug. 1, 2021. (REUTERS)

TOKYO — A Belarusian sprinter mentioned she deliberate to keep away from getting on a airplane house from Tokyo after being taken to the airport in opposition to her needs on Sunday following her complaints about nationwide coaches on the Olympic Video games.

Krystsina Tsimanouskaya, who was resulting from compete within the girls’s 200 meters on Monday, informed Reuters she had sought the safety of Japanese police at Tokyo’s Haneda airport so she wouldn’t need to board the flight.

“I can’t return to Belarus,” she informed Reuters in a message over Telegram.

Tsimanouskaya, 24, mentioned teaching employees had come to her room on Sunday and informed her to pack. She mentioned she was taken to the airport by representatives of the Belarusian Olympic staff.

The Belarusian Olympic Committee mentioned in an announcement that coaches had determined to withdraw Tsimanouskaya from the Video games on docs’ recommendation about her “emotional, psychological state.”

The committee didn’t instantly reply to a request for added remark.

Belarusian athlete Krystsina Tsimanouskaya is seen at Haneda international airport in Tokyo, Japan

Belarusian athlete Krystsina Tsimanouskaya is seen at Haneda worldwide airport in Tokyo, Japan Aug. 1, 2021. (REUTERS)

A Reuters photographer noticed the athlete standing subsequent to police on the airport.

“I believe I’m secure,” Tsimanouskaya mentioned. “I’m with the police.”

A police officer at Haneda airport mentioned they had been with a feminine Olympic athlete from Belarus at Terminal 3.

A supply on the Belarusian Sport Solidarity Basis, which helps athletes jailed or sidelined for his or her political beliefs, mentioned Tsimanouskaya deliberate to request asylum in Germany or Austria on Monday.

In a video printed on Telegram by the Belarusian Sport Solidarity Basis, Tsimanouskaya requested the Worldwide Olympic Committee to become involved in her case.

An IOC spokesperson mentioned the governing physique had seen media stories and was wanting into it. The spokesperson mentioned it had requested Belarus’ Olympic committee for clarification.

Belarus, a former Soviet state, is run with a decent grip by President Alexander Lukashenko. In energy since 1994, he confronted a wave of protests final yr, which some athletes joined.

Coaches ‘negligence’

Tsimanouskaya ran within the girls’s 100 meters heats on Friday and was scheduled to run within the 200 meters heats on Monday, together with the 4×400 meters relay on Thursday.

She mentioned she had been faraway from the staff due “to the truth that I spoke on my Instagram in regards to the negligence of our coaches.”

Tsimanouskaya had complained on Instagram that she was entered within the 4×400 m relay after some members of the staff had been discovered to be ineligible to compete on the Olympics as a result of they’d not undergone a enough quantity of doping exams.

“A few of our ladies didn’t fly right here to compete within the 4×400 m relay as a result of they didn’t have sufficient doping exams,” Tsimanouskaya informed Reuters from the airport.

“And the coach added me to the relay with out my information. I spoke about this publicly. The top coach came to visit to me and mentioned there had been an order from above to take away me.”

Tsimanouskaya added that she had reached out to members of the Belarusian diaspora in Japan to retrieve her on the airport.

Exiled Belarusian opposition chief Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya urged the IOC to take up the athlete’s case.

“Grateful to #IOC for the fast response to the state of affairs with the Belarusian athlete Krystsina Tsymanouskaya. She has a proper to worldwide safety & to proceed participation within the @Olympics,” Tsikhanouskaya tweeted.

“It’s also essential to research Belarus’ NOC violations of athletes’ rights.”

Athletes jailed

President Lukashenko was confronted with mass avenue protests final yr over what his opponents referred to as rigged elections, and ordered a violent crackdown on protesters. Lukashenko denies the allegations of vote-rigging.

Unusually in a rustic the place elite athletes usually depend on authorities funding, some distinguished Belarusian athletes joined the protests. A number of had been jailed, together with Olympic basketball participant Yelena Leuchanka and decathlete Andrei Krauchanka.

Others misplaced their state employment or had been kicked off nationwide groups for supporting the opposition.

Throughout the Chilly Warfare, scores of sportspeople and cultural figures defected from the Soviet Union and its satellite tv for pc states throughout abroad competitions or excursions. However the freedom of journey that got here with the autumn of the Soviet Union in 1991 noticed the necessity for such dramatic acts dwindle.


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