Belarusian athlete and representative at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics Krystsina Tsimanouskaya said on Sunday that due to her criticism of the Belarus coaching staff, she was removed from participating in the Olympics, and that staff tried to force her onto a flight home through Istanbul.
Exclusive: Belarusian athlete Krystsina Tsimanouskaya said she was taken to the airport against her wishes to board a flight back home after she publicly complained about national coaches at the Tokyo #Olympics. @gabrielletf reports https://t.co/jICTnn3L4p pic.twitter.com/656Yc9nS93
— Reuters (@Reuters) August 1, 2021
On Monday, Tsimanouskaya received a humanitarian visa in the Polish embassy after she reported to the police at Tokyo airport. Polish diplomats offered her protection and help in travelling to Poland.
On Sunday, she was also aided by the Japanese Foreign Ministry staff and the International Olympic Committee.
US ambassador to Belarus Julie Fisher disclosed Tsimanouskaya’s evasion of Belarusian authorities and emphasized Poland and Japan’s role in the matter. Fisher has not yet taken over her function in the US embassy in Belarus because the Belarusian government has not given her an accreditation.
The athlete stated that she is worried for her safety and intends to apply for political asylum. Belarusian authorities asserted that removing Tsimanouskaya from the Olympics was due to her poor “emotional and psychological” state.