Tokyo 2020: Belarusian Olympic athlete, Tsimanoskaya, escorted to Tokyo airport to fly home against her will
The International Olympic Committee says Belarusian Kristina Tsimanoskaya “feels safe” after earlier reports she was flown to Tokyo airport to fly home against her will following a public complaint from the national team.
“The IOC and Tokyo 2020 spoke to Kristina Tsymanouskaya directly tonight,” the official statement read. “She is with the authorities at Haneda Airport and is currently accompanied by an employee in Tokyo 2020. She told us she feels safe.”
Tsimanoskaya had been scheduled to compete in the women’s 200 meters on Monday.
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But after a video was posted in which she claimed to have entered the 4x400m relay without her permission – after some members of the Belarus team were ruled ineligible to compete because they failed to undergo a sufficient number of doping tests – Tsimanoskaya says she was asked to pack. Her bags were taken to the airport.
Tsimanoskaya told Reuters she had been expelled from her team because she “talked on my Instagram page about the neglect of our coaches”.
The runner has now called on the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to intervene in her condition.
In a video posted on the Telegram channel of the Belarusian Sports Solidarity Foundation (BSSF), a group that supports athletes imprisoned or marginalized for their political views, she said: “I am asking for help from the International Olympic Committee.
“There is pressure against me. They are trying to get me out of the country without my permission. I am asking the IOC to participate.”
The Belarus Olympic Committee did not deny Tsimanoskaya’s statement, but said she was removed from the 200m and 4x400m races due to her “emotional and psychological state”.
A statement from their Facebook page said: “According to the doctors, due to the emotional and psychological state of the Belarusian athlete Kristina Timanovskaya, the technical staff of the national athletics team decided to stop the athlete’s performance at the 32nd Olympic Games.
“As a result, the athlete’s request was called up to participate in the qualifying races in the 200-meter and in the 4×400-meter relay.”
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