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Belarusian sprinter Krystsina Tsimanouskaya, who was scheduled to compete in the 200m heats on Monday, claims she was taken to Tokyo airport against her will after publicly expressing criticism of her country’s coaches. She reportedly requested the protection of the Japanese police.
Krystsina Tsimanouskaya was to compete on Monday, August 2, in Tokyo, in the 200m series. On the eve of the competition, the Belarusian sprinter was forcibly taken to the airport in the Japanese capital, according to Reuters.
The sportswoman, who had participated in the 100m series on Friday, would have been ordered to do her business. She was then taken to the airport by two members of her delegation after making comments against coaches of her national team, on her Instagram account, which she accuses of negligence. The athlete had previously criticized her competing in the 4x400m relay, which is not her specialty, due to the absence of some team members who did not perform enough doping tests.
“I will not be returning to Belarus,” she told Reuters in a message. Krystsina Tsimanouskaya is said to have asked the airport for the protection of the Japanese police in order not to take a return flight. According to other sources, the sprinter would have even requested political asylum in Japan.
‼ ️Belarussian athlete Khrystina Tsimanouskaya, who is in Tokyo for the #Olympic Games and who criticized the regime in # Belarus, is being forcibly evicted by people in civilian clothes (no doubt from the KGB). If she returns, no doubt she will be arrested. pic.twitter.com/5J8I0dRR0i
– Andrei VAITOVICH (@andreivaitovich) August 1, 2021
The Belarusian Olympic committee has not yet commented on this information.
Krystsina Tsimanouskaya won the silver medal in the 100m at the European U21 Championships in 2017. She also took second place over the same distance in 2019 at the European Games.