Alastair / AP Scholarship
A Belarusian sprinter who spoke publicly about the “negligence” of her Olympic coaches says she was allegedly taken against her wishes to Tokyo airport to catch a flight back to Belarus.
Krystsina Tsimanouskaya, 24, said Reuters in an interview on Sunday that she was asking for help from the Japanese police at the airport and “will not return to Belarus.”
Tsimanouskaya was scheduled to compete in the women’s 200-meter race on Monday, but said the coaches went to her room on Sunday and told her to pack immediately. She said she had been placed in the 4×400 relay even though she had never competed in the event before or been trained for it.
The coaching staff took Tsimanouskaya to the airport after she spoke on her Instagram about the negligence of her coaches, she said in an interview with Reuters.
In a statement to Reuters, the Belarusian Olympic Committee said that the coaches had chosen to withdraw Tsimanouskaya on the advice of doctors about his “emotional and psychological state”.
The Belarusian athlete was forcibly taken to the airport by members of the Belarusian delegation and is now being pressured to leave the #Olimpias. Christina Tsimanouskaya is turning away from #Tokyo, she is now at the airport. The athlete says she will seek refuge in the #EU. pic.twitter.com/g3cuRoXczc
– Franak Viačorka (@franakviacorka) August 1, 2021
She sought protection from the Japanese police
Tsimanouskaya sought the Japanese police protection at Haneda Airport in Tokyo so you don’t have to board your flight home.
In a video circulating on social media, Tsimanouskaya said team officials “pressured” her and asked the International Olympic Committee for help.
“They have put pressure on me and are trying to get me out of the country without my consent, so I ask the IOC to intervene,” he said. “I will not return to Belarus.”
In a tweet, the International Olympic Committee said it had seen media reports on the Tsimanouskaya situation and was “investigating the situation.” The IOC said it was asking the Belarusian National Olympic Committee for “clarification.”
In the video posted on her Instagram, Tsimanouskaya criticized Belarusian Olympic officials for allegedly telling her once she was already in Tokyo that she had to run the 4×400 meter relay after other team members were ineligible due to failure to complete the tests. appropriate doping tests. .
Dissent can be dangerous in Belarus
He did not criticize Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko or the government in the video.
Lukashenko has cracked down on the opposition in the autocratic Eastern European country, arresting and jailing those who criticize the government.
In May, Belarus forced a Ryanair flight to land and arrested opposition journalist Roman Protasevich on board.