Belarusian Athlete Timanovskaya Says She Is 'Safe', IOC Got Involved
03:20 GMT 02.08.2021 (Updated: 03:29 GMT 02.08.2021)
© RIA Novosti . SputnikAward ceremony of Belarus athlets at II European Games
© RIA Novosti . Sputnik/
TOKYO (Sputnik) - The International Olympic Committee (IOC) and the organizers of the Tokyo Games have talked to Belarusian sprinter Kristina Timanovskaya (Krystsina Tsimanouskaya), who said that she is safe under the protection of local authorities, IOC Spokesman Mark Adams said.
Timanovskaya, who is competing at the Tokyo Olympics, released a video on social media on Sunday claiming that Belarusian authorities were "forcibly" trying to make her return to her home country. She asked the IOC to intervene. The National Olympic Committee of Belarus said that the coaching staff of the Belarusian athletics team decided to send the sprinter home due to her emotional and psychological state.
A representative of the Belarusian diaspora told Sputnik on Monday that Timanovskaya was not at the Tokyo International Airport and that "she has been taken to a safe place, she is fine." According to the representative, the Belarusian diaspora is ready to assist the athlete in any way possible.
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Adams told reporters on Monday that the IOC talked with Timanovskaya on Sunday and that she spent the night at a hotel airport and was now under the protection of local authorities. Asked about the possibility of any sanctions against the National Olympic Committee of Belarus in relation to the incident, Adams said that it remains to be seen.
Tsimanouskaya claims that the Belarusian Olympic Committee had decided to send her home because she complained on Instagram about getting scheduled to run in the 4x400m relay on Thursday, after some members of the Belarusian team were found to be ineligible to compete due to insufficient doping testing.
Timanovskaya had reportedly planned to seek asylum in Austria. The Belarusian opposition Sports Solidarity Fund said that Timanovskaya wanted to seek asylum in Europe as she was allegedly being forced to leave Tokyo without her consent. Poland and the Czech Republic are reportedly among countries that have offered to provide political protection to the Belarusian athlete.