‘I cannot return’: Belarusian Olympian says she was taken to airport in opposition to her needs – Nationwide | Globalnews.ca

2021-08-01 20:35:40

A Belarusian sprinter stated she was taken to the airport in opposition to her needs on Sunday to board a flight again dwelling after she complained about nationwide coaches on the Tokyo Olympics, however deliberate to keep away from getting on the aircraft.

Krystsina Tsimanouskaya, who was because of compete within the ladies’s 200 meters on Monday, instructed Reuters she had sought the safety of Japanese police at Tokyo’s Haneda airport so she wouldn’t should board the flight.

“I cannot return to Belarus,” she instructed Reuters in a message over Telegram.

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The Belarusian Olympic Committee stated in a press release that coaches had determined to withdraw Tsimanouskaya from the Video games on medical doctors’ recommendation about her “emotional, psychological state.”

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The Belarusian Olympic Committee didn’t instantly reply to a request for extra remark.

A Reuters photographer witnessed the athlete standing subsequent to Japanese police.

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

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A police officer at Haneda airport stated 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, stated Tsimanouskaya deliberate to request asylum in Germany or Austria on Monday.

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

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An IOC spokesperson stated the governing physique had seen media studies and was trying into it. The spokesperson stated it had requested Belarus’ Olympic committee for clarification.

Coaches’ ‘negligence’

Tsimanouskaya, 24, stated teaching workers had come to her room on Sunday and instructed her to pack. She was taken to the airport earlier than she may run within the 200 meters and 4×400 meters relay on Thursday.

She stated 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.”

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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 that they had not undergone a enough quantity of doping assessments.

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

“And the coach added me to the relay with out my information. I spoke about this publicly. The pinnacle coach came visiting to me and stated 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 short 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.”

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Lukashenko’s tight grip

Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko has stored a decent grip on Belarus, a former Soviet state, since 1994. Confronted with mass avenue protests final 12 months over what his opponents referred to as rigged elections, he 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 outstanding Belarusian athletes joined the protests. A number of had been jailed, together with Olympic basketball participant Yelena Leuchanka and decathlete Andrei Krauchanka https://www.reuters.com/article/us-belarus-election-olympics-idUSKBN28614P.

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

Through the Chilly Struggle, scores of sports activities individuals 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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Reporting by Gabrielle Tétrault-Farber Further reporting by Kiyoshi Takenaka Enhancing by Frances Kerry


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