After critical words about the sports officials in her country, Belarusian Olympic athlete Kristina Timanovskaya is said to be under the protection of Japanese police.
Tokyo (AP) – Belarusian Olympic Committee says Belarusian athlete Kristina Timanowskaya will no longer compete in the Tokyo Olympics.
According to independent Belarusian media, the 24-year-old has already been taken to the airport after criticizing Belarusian sports officials in Tokyo.
The Belarus opposition athlete association Belarusian Sport Solidarity Foundation (BSSF) posted a video to Telegram on Sunday in which Timanovskaya said she was under pressure and had to leave the country against her will.
According to the BSSF, she is currently under the protection of the Japanese police. Timanowskaja wants to apply for asylum in Europe and contact the Austrian embassy in Tokyo. The BSSF had previously spoken of the “violent” departure of Timanovskaya.
The International Olympic Committee (IOC) said on request that it was monitoring the matter and had asked the Belarusian Olympic Committee for clarification. A report by the Belarusian Olympic Committee on Telegram said the runner had been examined by a doctor and would not participate in further competitions due to her “emotional and psychological state”.
On her Instagram account, Timanovskaya described this performance as a “lie”. In an interview with the radio station Euroradio, she said: “You just told me to pack my things and fly home.”
Timanovskaya should have started more than 200 meters in advance on Monday. She had previously criticized sports officials in authoritarian Belarus. The athlete suspected that other Belarusian athletes would not be able to participate because not enough negative doping samples had been submitted for them.