A Belarussian sprinter has appealed to the International Olympic Committee for help after claiming that officials from her country attempted to have her deported from Japan.
Krystsina Tsimanouskaya, who was due to compete in the women”s 200 metres on Monday, said that her team officials had put her under pressure to return to Belarus.
When they had taken her to Tokyo airport to try and force her to fly home, she requested air from the Japanese police.
She had previously criticised the Belarussian support staff for “negligence” and has told Reuters that she “will not return to Belarus.”
A spokesman for the activist group, the Belarusian Sports Solidarity Foundation, said Tsimanouskaya is “being transported to a safe place now” and will be in contact with European diplomats.
Tsimanouskaya criticised Belarus team officials on her Instagram account. She said she’d been put in the 4×400 relay despite never racing the event.
The IOC says in a statement it asked the Belarus national Olympic officials for clarification on the dispute.
Belarus’s Olympic Committee, which is headed by Viktor Lukashenko, President Alexander Lukashenko’s son, claimed that Tsimanouskaya’s involvement in the Olympics had been suspended due to the “decision of doctors, because of her emotional and psychological state,” AFP reported.