Belarus Olympian Refuses “Forced” Flight Home. Tokyo Says “Safe” Here

Belarus Olympian Refuses “Forced” Flight Home. Tokyo Says “Safe” Here

Belarus Olympian Refuses 'Forced' Flight Home. Tokyo Says 'Safe' Here

Tokyo Olympics: Belarusian athlete Krystsina Tsimanouskaya sought safety from Japan’s police.


A Belarusian athlete who refused to board a flight after she mentioned she was taken to the airport by her staff towards her needs was “secure and safe” in Tokyo, the International Olympic Committee mentioned on Monday.

Krystsina Tsimanouskaya, 24, spent the night time in an airport resort after she went to Japanese police at Haneda airport in search of safety late on Sunday, IOC spokesperson Mark Adams instructed a media convention. Numerous companies have been involved with the sprinter, together with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, he added.

In a brewing diplomatic incident, it was unclear the place Tsimanouskaya would find yourself with each Poland and the Czech Republic publicly providing her help.

“She has assured us she is secure and safe. We are speaking once more to her this morning to grasp what the subsequent steps shall be,” Adams mentioned. “We must hearken to her, discover out what she desires and help her in her determination.”

The sprinter, who was attributable to race within the 200 metre heats at Olympic Stadium on Monday, had her Games minimize quick when she mentioned she was taken to the airport to board a Turkish Airlines flight.

She instructed a Reuters reporter through Telegram that the Belarusian head coach had turned up at her room on Sunday on the athletes village and instructed her she needed to depart.

“The head coach came visiting to me and mentioned there had been an order from above to take away me,” she wrote within the message. “At 5 (pm) they got here my room and instructed me to pack they usually took me to the airport.”

But she refused to board the flight, telling Reuters: “I cannot return to Belarus.”

The Belarusian Olympic Committee mentioned in an announcement coaches had determined to withdraw Tsimanouskaya from the Games on medical doctors’ recommendation about her “emotional, psychological state”.

Belarus athletics head coach Yuri Moisevich instructed state tv he “may see there was one thing mistaken together with her… She both secluded herself or did not need to discuss.”

The IOC would proceed conversations with Tsimanouskaya on Monday and the Olympics governing physique had requested for a full report from the Belarus’ Olympic committee, Adams mentioned.

In response to quite a few questions by journalists about what the IOC would do to make sure different athletes within the village have been protected, the IOC spokesperson mentioned they have been nonetheless accumulating particulars about what precisely occurred.


A member of the native Belarusian neighborhood, who had been involved with the athlete all through the night time, instructed Reuters that after lengthy talks with varied officers she had petitioned for asylum in Japan.

The Japanese authorities mentioned the athlete had been stored secure whereas Tokyo 2020 organisers and the IOC checked her intentions.

“Japan is coordinating with related events and proceed to take applicable motion,” mentioned chief cupboard secretary Katsunobu Kato.

Both Poland and the Czech Republic provided their assistance on Monday.

Polish overseas ministry official Marcin Przydacz wrote on Twitter that Tsimanouskaya has been “provided a humanitarian visa and is free to pursue her sporting profession in Poland if she so chooses.”

Poland’s Olympic committee didn’t instantly reply to a request for remark.

Czech overseas minister Jakub Kulhanek mentioned he thought-about the scenario across the Belarusian “scandalous.”

“The Czech Republic is able to assist,” he tweeted. “We are providing her a visa to enter the territory in order that she will apply for worldwide safety with us. Our embassy in Tokyo can also be prepared to assist.”

Tsimanouskaya’s refusal to board the aircraft, first reported by Reuters, highlighted discord in Belarus, a former Soviet state that’s run with a good grip by President Alexander Lukashenko.

On Monday, the IOC spokesperson mentioned it had taken quite a few actions towards Belarus’ Olympic Committee within the run as much as the Games following nationwide protests within the nation.

In March, the IOC refused to recognise the election of Lukashenko’s son Viktor as head of the nation’s Olympic Committee. Both father and son have been banned from attending the Games in December.

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV workers and is revealed from a syndicated feed.)

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