Tokyo Olympics updates

A Belarusian runner on account of compete on the Tokyo Olympics was taken to the airport in opposition to her needs after making complaints about her coaches, in accordance with media stories on Sunday evening.

The Worldwide Olympic Committee, the organiser of the Video games, initially mentioned it had requested for clarification from the Belarus workforce concerning the standing and whereabouts of Krystina Tsimanouskaya, who was on account of compete within the ladies’s 200m dash on Monday.

In a press release on Twitter on Sunday evening, the organsation mentioned it had subsequently spoken to the athlete. “She is with the authorities at [Tokyo’s] Haneda airport and is presently accompanied by a employees member of Tokyo 2020. She has advised us that she feels secure,” it mentioned. “The IOC and Tokyo 2020 will proceed their conversations with [her] and the authorities to find out the subsequent steps.”

Belarus’ dictatorial chief Alexander Lukashenko and his regime are extensively seen as worldwide pariahs after he fraudulently claimed victory in final yr’s presidential election after which launched into a brutal campaign to suppress protesters and supporters of his rival, which has seen hundreds overwhelmed and jailed. 

Pictures and video circulated on social media websites by Belarusian opposition activists seem to point out Tsimanouskaya at Tokyo’s Haneda airport, the place she refused to board a airplane and as a substitute sought refuge with Japanese police.

Krystsina Tsimanouskaya took half within the heats for the ladies’s 100 metres on Friday however narrowly missed qualifying for the semi-finals © Aleksandra Szmigiel/Reuters

The IOC mentioned it “has seen the stories within the media, is wanting into it and has requested the [Belarus] nationwide Olympic committee for clarification”.

Japanese police didn’t instantly reply to requests for remark.

The Belarusian Olympic Committee didn’t instantly reply to requests for remark, however a press release attributed to the physique suggests she had been faraway from competitors by coaches on the recommendation of docs about her “emotional, psychological state”.

Late on Sunday, Tsimanouskaya shared a screenshot of that assertion on Instagram with the message: “It is a lie.”

“I’m asking the Worldwide Olympic Committee for assist, they’re placing strain on me and they’re attempting to take me in another country with out my consent,” Tsimanouskaya mentioned in a video message reportedly recorded on Sunday night from the airport and posted on social media.

An individual near Olympic officers mentioned there remained “confusion” across the incident, including that they had been advised that Tsimanouskaya had boarded a coach to the airport and had gone via the departures space to board a airplane to Istanbul, the place she then sought Japanese police to ask for asylum.

Belarusian opposition chief Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya tweeted that she was grateful to the IOC for its fast response. “She has a proper to worldwide safety and to proceed participation within the Olympics. Additionally it is essential to research Belarus’ NOC violations of athletes’ rights,” she mentioned.

Tsimanouskaya on Friday appeared to criticise her coaches and workforce administration in an Instagram post that mentioned she had been “ignored” and that “folks in larger ranks ought to respect us as athletes”.

The 24-year-old had taken half within the heats for the ladies’s 100 metres on Friday however narrowly missed on qualifying for the semi finals of the occasion. She is listed on official Olympics websites as on account of compete within the first spherical of the 200 metres on the Olympic stadium on Monday morning.

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