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Tokyo 2020: Belarusian Olympian Krystsina Tsimanouskaya receives Polish humanitarian visa

Krystsina Tsimanouskaya plans to seek political asylum in Poland after alleging that her team’s officials tried to force her to fly home from the Tokyo Olympics; Polish deputy foreign minister Marcin Przydacz says Tsimanouskaya has been granted a humanitarian visa

Last Updated: 02/08/21 12:51pm





Sky Sports




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Rob Koehler, Director General of Global Athlete, says Belarusian Olympian Krystsina Tsimanouskaya must be supported ‘long-term’

Rob Koehler, Director General of Global Athlete, says Belarusian Olympian Krystsina Tsimanouskaya must be supported ‘long-term’

The Belarusian Olympian who refused to get on a flight from Tokyo after she said she was taken to an airport against her will has been granted a humanitarian visa by Poland.

Krystsina Tsimanouskaya plans to seek political asylum in Poland after alleging that her team’s officials tried to force her to fly home, where she feared she wouldn’t be safe from an autocratic government.

On Monday, Polish deputy foreign minister Marcin Przydacz said on Twitter the 24-year-old has received the visa.

He added: “Poland will do whatever is necessary to help [Krystsina Tsimanouskaya] to continue her sporting career. Poland always stands for solidarity.”

Tsimanouskaya, who spent Sunday night in a hotel after seeking the protection of Japanese police at Haneda airport, arrived at the Polish embassy in Tokyo on Monday morning.

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) said she was “safe and secure” and being looked after.

Tsimanouskaya’s arrival at the Polish embassy comes after France’s European affairs minister said it would be an “honour” if Europe were to grant her political asylum.

She had been due to compete in the women’s 200m and the 4×400 metres relay at the Tokyo Olympics this week.

But Tsimanouskaya criticised team officials on her Instagram account, saying she was put in the relay despite never having raced in the event before.

She had also claimed some members of her team were judged ineligible to compete because they had not undergone enough doping tests.

Tsimanouskaya criticised team officials on her Instagram account

Tsimanouskaya criticised team officials on her Instagram account

Coaching staff went to Tsimanouskaya’s room and told her to pack as a response to what she had said, she claimed.

When she arrived at the airport, she summoned Japanese police and refused to board the flight to Minsk via Istanbul.

In a message on social media, Tsimanouskaya said: “I was put under pressure and (Belarus team officials) are trying to forcibly take me out of the country without my consent.”

In a statement on its Facebook page, the Belarus Olympic Committee said Tsimanouskaya was removed from the Games because of her “emotional and psychological state”.

It said: “According to doctors, due to the emotional and psychological state of the Belarusian athlete Krystsina Tsimanouskaya, the coaching staff of the national athletics team decided to stop the performance of the athlete at the XXXII Olympics.

“Consequently, the athlete’s application for participation in qualifying races at 200m and in the 4x400m relay was recalled.”


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