Olympic Games in Tokyo
Olympic athlete from Belarus apparently under police protection
After critical words about the sports officials in her country, the Belarusian Olympic athlete Kristina Timanovskaya is said to be under the protection of the Japanese police.
The Belarusian athlete Kristina Timanovskaya will no longer participate in the Olympic Games in Tokyo, according to the Belarusian Olympic Committee.
According to independent Belarusian media, the 24-year-old is said to have already been brought to the airport after criticizing Belarusian sports officials in Tokyo.
The Belarusian opposition athletes’ association Belarusian Sport Solidarity Foundation (BSSF) posted a video on Telegram on Sunday in which Timanovskaya said she was under pressure and should be taken out of the country against her will.
According to the BSSF, she is currently under the protection of the Japanese police. Timanowskaja wants to ask for asylum in Europe and to contact the Austrian embassy in Tokyo. The BSSF had previously spoken of Timanovskaya’s “violent” departure.
The International Olympic Committee (IOC) said on request that it was monitoring the case and had asked the Belarusian Olympic Committee for clarification. A message from the Belarusian Olympic Committee on Telegram said that the runner had been examined by a doctor and would not take part in any further competitions because of her “emotional and psychological state”.
On her Instagram account Timanovskaya described this representation 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 over 200 meters in advance on Monday. She had previously been critical of sports officials in authoritarian Belarus. The athlete suspected that other Belarusian athletes would not be able to compete because not enough negative doping samples had been submitted for them.