The Polish government granted humanitarian asylum to athlete Kristina Tsimanoskaya on Monday (2) amid a diplomatic crisis at the Tokyo Olympics. The runner is from Belarus and had to appeal to the police at the city’s airport so that he would not be forcibly deported on Sunday (1).
This information was confirmed by Foreign Minister Marcin Brzydać, but there is still no official position on Tsimanskaya. According to sources reported by Japanese media, the athlete spent the night at the Polish embassy in Tokyo.
The Tsimanoskaya case gained global repercussions this Sunday, but it started the day before. The athlete went to the Olympics to compete in the 200-meter dash, but on Saturday (31) he was included in the 4×400-meter relay.
The runner then used her social networks to criticize the change of plans and say that she was not asked to enter the relay. He said he had no problems running the new race, but complained about the way the change was done.
And on Sunday morning, Tsimanoskaya’s technical committee was forcibly removed from the Olympic village and taken to the airport to return to Belarus on Sunday. For the Belarusian Olympic Committee, she did not have “emotional and psychological conditions” to continue competing.
However, upon arriving at the airport, she recorded a video recounting the situation and appealed to the local police not to board the plane. The plane went to Minsk without Tsimoskaya. Since then, the International Olympic Committee (IOC), as well as the local organization, has been involved in the crisis.
At Monday’s press conference, ahead of the news out of Poland, IOC spokesman Mark Adams said both the organization and Games organizers “had talks last night” with the player and that she “was safe”.
Contrary to the Japanese media, Adams reported that she spent the night at the airport hotel. The representative of the International Olympic Committee also stressed that the United Nations refugee agency (UNHCR) is also taking on the issue.
The crisis in Belarus – Tsimanskaya’s fear of returning to his country comes from the fact that since the last presidential elections in the country in July last year, the government has increased its repression against those critical of President Alexander Lukashenko – it has even arrested many athletes who demonstrated.
The country’s Olympic Committee is headed by Viktor Lukashenko, the president’s son, in elections not officially recognized by the International Olympic Committee.
The president is considered “the last dictator in Europe” because he has been in power since 1994, and in the latest dispute allegations of fraud multiplied. Lukashenko said he won more than 80% of the vote, but protests against the results continued daily for months.
The country lives under numerous sanctions from Western governments, including the European Union, the United States and the United Kingdom, but it has the unreserved support of Russian President Vladimir Putin. .
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