Tuesday, October 19

A Belarusian Olympic athlete denounces that her Government forces her to leave Japan

  • The 200-meter runner calls for help from the IOC and the Japanese police at the airport and manages to avoid getting on the plane back to her country

  • The athlete had criticized the Belarusian committee, led by the son of Lukashenko, the country’s controversial president

The olympic athlete Belarusian Krystsina Tsimanouskaya has denounced that the authorities of her country are forcing her to leave Japan against his will, as the athlete herself has pointed out in a video posted on social networks.

“I ask for help International Olympic Committee. They are trying to get me out of the country without my permission and I am asking the IOC to get involved, “according to a video recorded on Telegram and verified by the BBC.

Upon arriving at the airport, the athlete asked the Japanese police for help, who protected her and took her to “a safe place.” It is not known where she will spend the night but the plane took off without her. Tsimanouskaya was due to start competing at the Games in the 200 meter Olympic qualifiers on Monday.

Disagreement with the Olympic Committee

The runner had previously voiced criticism of the Belarusian committee, led by the son of the country’s leader Alexander Lukashenko, for forcing her to run in a relay event on short notice. The Belarusian Olympic team later announced that she had been withdrawn from competition due to her “emotional and psychological state”.

According to the Belarusian journalist Tadeusz Giczan, he would have started the procedures to request asylum in Europe. The IOC has also contacted the athlete, who would have said that “now she feels safe.”

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“Now I am with the police while they are deciding what to do,” the athlete told the Belarusian radio station ERB. On the question of whether he is afraid to return to Belarus, Tsimanovskaya replied: “Yes.”

Belarus has lived in recent protests against Lukashenko after an election in which he was re-elected amid suspicions of corruption. The government police brutally crushed the massive protests involving world-class athletes, depriving them of resources and equipment.


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