Belarusian Olympian Receives Humanitarian Asylum From Poland Government

Krystina Tsimanouskaya has been offered humanitarian asylum in Poland after the Belarusian Olympic sprinter complained about the Belarusian Olympic Committee and her coaches in an Instagram post.

She has since deleted the post, but the athlete was upset that the committee and coaches signed her up for a 4×400 meter relay – an event she’s never done before. She also accused the committee of kidnapping her on Aug. 1 with the intent of putting her on a plane. Tsimanouskaya said she refused to get on the plane and looked to the police for their assistance. She later reached out to the International Olympic Committee for their help.

IOC spokesman Mark Adams said Tsimanouskaya is feeling much safer, and there have been talks about an investigation into the incident.

Adams said a formal investigation by the IOC would be launched to determine the facts, which will take some time.

Marcin Przydacz, Poland Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, said Polish diplomats have already reached out to Tsimanouskaya, who flew into the country Aug. 2 and will head to Warsaw Aug. 4. He said Poland will help the Olympic athlete with her sporting career.

According to the New York Times, Belarusian journalists covering the 2020 Olympics were told the sprinter missed the bus transporting the athletes who completed their events to the airport. They were told she was riding in another vehicle with her coach.

However, the organization – Belarusian Sports Solidarity Fund – backs athletes who have been victims of the government. According to them, there is audio recording of coaching staff members saying Tsimanouskaya would be withdrawn for her criticism. She was set to compete in the 200-meter race on Aug. 2 and was instead withdrawn from the Olympics altogether due to her “psychological and emotional” state.

Tsimanouskaya said she believes if she had returned to the country, authorities would have punished her for her post. She said little veiled threats were made, meaning she could face consequences upon her return.

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Posted by on Aug 6 2021. Filed under New, Sports. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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