I will not return to Belarus," Krystsina Tsimanouskaya averred.
Krystsina Tsimanouskaya, Olympic Belarusian sprinter vehemently refused to board a flight from Tokyo on Sunday after she said she was taken to the airport against her will.
The athlete narrated her ordeal, saying that coaching staff came to her room on Sunday and told her to pack up her belongings, after which she said she was taken to Tokyo's Haneda airport, according to Reuters.
Tsimanouskaya refused to board the plane, at the airport. She instead went to the Japanese police for protection. "I will not return to Belarus," she told Reuters in a Telegram message.
The Belarusian Sports Solidarity Foundation, which has the aim of supporting athletes jailed or sidelined for their political views," released a Telegram video of Tsimanouskaya asking the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to get involved in her matter, according to Reuters.
The IOC said that a Tokyo 2020 staff member was accompanying her at the airport and that it spoke to her. "She has told us she feels safe," the IOC tweeted.
After some investigation, the Belarusian Sports Solidarity Foundation said Tsimanouskaya intends on seeking asylum in Austria or Germany on Monday, and that Poland also responded to the request of the foundation for assistance.
Tsimanouskaya, 24, took part in running in the women's 100 meters on Friday and was also placed to run in the 200 meters on Monday and 4x400 meters fixed on Thursday.
Tsimanouskaya is of the position that the coaches took her off the Olympic team because she spilled out on Instagram "on the, of the coaches." In the post, she narrated how after some of her team members couldn't fly to Tokyo and compete in the Olympics because they had not gone through the required doping tests to participate in the games, her coach "added me to the relay without my knowledge. I spoke about him publicly. Consequently, the head coach came over to me and said there had been an order issued from above to remove me."
"The Belarusian Olympic Committee said in a statement that coaches had decided on doctors' advice about her 'emotional, psychological state to withdraw Tsimanouskaya from the Olympic team,'" Reuters reported.
The head of the Belarus athletics team in Tokyo, Yuri Moisevich, "said to state-owned broadcaster STV that the decision had been taken to make changes to the relay team, but they did not announce it immediately so as not to interfere with the athletes' preparation," Reuters reported.
"We intended to tell her everything, especially as she was a reserve," Moisevich said.
Alexander Lukashenko, Belarus President has been in political power since 1994. Last year, there were massive demonstrations over that recent elections were allegedly rigged. Lukashenko "ordered a serious and violent crackdown on the protesters", Reuters reported.
Viktor Lukashenko, the president of the Belarus Olympic Committee, is the president's son.
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