Belarussian athlete who refused to fly home from Tokyo granted Polish visa

Due to criticizing her coaching staff, Krystsina Tsimanouskaya was removed from her country’s national team at the Tokyo Olympics and was to be forcibly returned home by Belarusian authorities

editor: Grzegorz Adamczyk
author: Polsat News
Krystsina Tsimanouskaya, of Belarus, runs in the women's 100-meter run at the 2020 Summer Olympics, Friday, July 30, 2021. Tsimanouskaya alleged her Olympic team tried to remove her from Japan in a dispute that led to a standoff Sunday, Aug. 1, at Tokyo’s main airport. An activist group supporting Tsimanouskaya said she believed her life was in danger in Belarus and would seek asylum with the Austrian embassy in Tokyo. (AP Photo/Martin Meissner)

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.

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.

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