Belarusian Olympian Refuses to Leave Tokyo, Seeks IOC Help

Politics Tokyo 2020

Tokyo, Aug. 2 (Jiji Press)--Belarusian Olympian Krystsina Tsimanouskaya has refused an order to fly home issued after her criticism of national coaches and sought help from the International Olympic Committee.

In a video statement posted on social media by a human rights group Sunday night, the 24-year-old sprinter said she was put under pressure, asking the IOC to intervene as her country tried to take her out of Japan without consent.

In an interview with a sports media outlet in Belarus, she claimed that her country is no longer safe for her and that she might be jailed there.

She reportedly plans to seek asylum in a third-party country in Europe, such as Austria.

At a press conference Monday morning, IOC spokesman Mark Adams said that Tsimanouskaya is safe in Tokyo after spending the night at a hotel with support from Tokyo Games organizing committee staff.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press Tokyo 2020