WARSAW – Sprinter Krystsina Tsimanouskaya, who was pulled from the Tokyo Olympics by the Belarusian team after criticizing her coaches, will auction a medal from the 2019 European Games to support athletes who say they have been targeted by authorities. .
Belarusian team officials took the 24-year-old to Haneda airport in Tokyo against her wishes on August 1, a day before she was scheduled to run the 200 meters.
He refused to board the flight home and has since sought refuge in Poland, fearing for his safety if he returned to Belarus.
Tsimanouskaya told Reuters that the reason she had been removed from the team was her public criticism of “the negligence of our coaches.”
She said she had been entered into the 4x400m relay without her knowledge after some team members were found to be ineligible to compete because they had not undergone sufficient doping tests.
The Belarusian Sports Solidarity Foundation, a group that supports athletes imprisoned or marginalized for their political views, said on Monday that the medal will be auctioned at the request of Tsimanouskaya in support of Belarusian athletes “who suffered from the actions of the Lukashenko regime.” .
As of Monday morning, bids for the medal had reached $ 5,200 on eBay.
President Alexander Lukashenko has been accused of orchestrating an unprecedented crackdown on protesters and opposition figures in the wake of a presidential election held a year ago that critics and observers say was rigged. Hey deny voter fraud.
The crackdown has affected elite athletes, some of whom have been jailed for joining street protests.
In a statement issued by the foundation, Tsimanouskaya said that the silver medal she won in the team relay at the 2019 European Games in the Belarusian capital Minsk had a special meaning.
“Those competitions were extremely important to me as they were held in the home stadium,” he said. “Many people, including my family and relatives, came to cheer me on.”
The International Olympic Committee (IOC) on Friday ordered two Belarusian officials, head athletics coach Yuri Moisevich and team official Artur Shumak, to revoke their accreditation and be withdrawn from the Games.
The Belarusian Olympic Committee has said that coaches withdrew Tsimanouskaya from the Tokyo Olympics on the advice of doctors about his emotional and psychological state.
In an exclusive interview with Reuters in Warsaw on Thursday, Tsimanouskaya said the two officials had told her that the order to send her home came from “on top” in Belarus.
Get the latest sports news straight to your inbox
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS To get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer and more than 70 other titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download from 4am and share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.
For comments, complaints or inquiries, Contact Us.