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Belarus Tries to Send Olympic Sprinter Home After Criticism

August 1, 2021, 6:38 pm
Belarus Tries to Send Olympic Sprinter Home After Criticism
TOKYO—A Belarusian sprinter who had publicly criticized the country’s national coaches at the Tokyo Olympics said Sunday in a social-media video that she was taken to an airport to be sent home against her will. “I am asking the International Olympic Committee for help,” Krystsina Tsimanouskaya said in a video posted on several Belarusian opposition websites. “They put pressure on me and they try to take me out of the country without my consent. Therefore, I ask the IOC to intervene in this situation.” Tsimanouskaya said later Sunday that she was safe at a Tokyo police station, according to the Belarusian Sport Solidarity Foundation, an organization that supports opposition athletes. She didn’t board the flight, according to the organization. Last week, Tsimanouskaya complained on social media she was put on the roster for the 4x400 meter relay, scheduled for Thursday. She said in an Instagram post that she had never run that race and the team coaches added her to the relay without her knowing. “They decided to do everything behind my back, despite the fact that I tried to find out this information, but received only an ignore,” she wrote. “Believe me, even though I have never run 400 meters, I would be ready to support the team and the girls and go on the same track with them, BUT, I believe that higher people should have respect for us as athletes and sometimes ask for our opinion!”
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