Japan shelters Belarusian sprinter who criticized team coaches at Olympics
11:36, 02 August 2021
The Belarusian athlete Krystina Timanovskaya who had sought protection from police during the Olympic Games after claiming her team was forcing her to return home as she criticized her coaches was safe, Japan's top government spokesman told the press on Monday.
Japanese authorities, including the International Olympic Committee, have been working to confirm athlete's intentions, Japan would take "appropriate steps", Chief Cabinet Secretary Katsunobu Kato confirmed.
On Monday she arrived at Poland's Embassy in Tokyo in an unmarked silver van with her official team luggage, before entering the premises Timanovskaya reportedly greeted two officials.
Later on Monday Poland has granted a visa to 'at risk' Belarusian Olympic athlete, she would seek asylum in the country. Polish consular officials did not immediately respond to comment.
Poland is ready to help Kryscina Tsimanouskaya a Belarusian athlete ordered by the Lukashenka regime to return form Olympic Games to Minsk. She was offered a humanitarian visa and is free to pursue her sporting career in Poland if she so chooses.
Krystina Timanovskaya, 24, sought the protection of Japanese police at Haneda Airport on Sunday after she refused to board a flight from Tokyo to Minsk after being taken to the airport against her wishes. Following the incident, she was offered asylum by Poland and the Czech Republic. The Belarusian athlete is reportedly considering seeking asylum in Germany or Austria. The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees was also in contact with the sprinter.
Timanovskaya, who ran in the women’s 100-meter heats Friday, was supposed to run in the 200-meter heats Monday and the 4x400-meter relay Thursday.
The IOC has seen the reports in the media about the Belarusian athlete Krystsina Tsymanouskaya. We are looking into the situation and have asked the NOC for clarification.