Belarusian Olympian says waiting for her “punishment” at home Olympic News

Belarusian Olympian Christina Zimanusskaya claimed that Belarusian officials “made it clear” that after she criticized the team’s management, she would face punishment after returning from the Tokyo Olympics.

On Sunday, the 24-year-old sprinter refused to fly home from Tokyo, claiming that her team drove her to the Japanese capital Haneda Airport and tried to force her to board a flight to Minsk via Istanbul against her wishes.

“They made it clear that I will definitely face some form of punishment after returning to China,” she told the Associated Press on Tuesday. “There is also a vague hint that more people will be waiting for me.”

Zimanusskaya sought protection from the Japanese police after refusing to fly home and went to the Polish embassy in the Japanese capital on Monday.

Poland Grant her a humanitarian visa She plans to fly to Warsaw later this week, where she hopes to be reunited with her husband.

The Polish Embassy in Tokyo, the Japanese government and the International Olympic Committee (IOC) all stated that Zimanusskaya is “safe“At the same time. On Tuesday, the International Olympic Committee announced a formal investigation into the incident and stated that it is expected that the Belarusian team will submit a report on Zimanusskaya’s case later that day.

Zimanusskaya asks for investigation

The stalemate began after Zimanusskaya criticized the officials for managing her team and caused strong opposition in the Belarusian state media.

The runner stated on her Instagram account that she participated in the 4×400m relay race, although she had never participated in a race. Subsequently, she was banned from participating in the 200-meter race.

Zimanusskaya launched-and lost-a legal fight to participate in that game. The Sports Arbitration Court said in a statement that it rejected Zimanusskaya’s request for an interim ruling that could have allowed her to compete at the Tokyo Olympic Stadium on Monday.

The preliminaries are held in the morning and the semi-finals are held in the evening.

On Tuesday, Zimanusskaya called for a thorough investigation of her withdrawal from the Tokyo Olympics and “may impose sanctions on the coach who approached me and deprived me of the right to play.”

She said she hopes that the international sports authorities will investigate the situation and investigate “who gave the order, [and] Who really made the decision that I can no longer participate in the competition. “

However, Zimanusskaya did not call for action against the Belarusian Olympic team, saying that the athletes “have no guilt and should continue to compete”.

“I don’t think any sanctions should be imposed on athletes,” she said.

The Belarusian Olympic Committee has previously stated that according to doctor Zimanusskaya “emotional, [and] Mental state”.

‘Transnational suppression’

Zimanusskaya said she believes she will be kicked out of the national team due to the incidents in the last few days, but she added that she hopes to continue running in the future.

“At the moment I just want to reach Europe safely…meet the people who have been helping me and decide what to do next,” Zimanusskaya said.

“[But] I really want to continue my sports career because I am only 24 years old and I have at least two Olympic plans,” she added.

The case of Zimanusskaya has renewed attention to political discord in Belarus, which is led by long-term president Alexander Lukashenko.

At the time of the incident, Ukrainian police said they had found a missing Belarusian activist Hanged in the park In the capital, Kiev, a murder investigation has been launched.

After the August 2020 election triggered a wave of protests, the Belarusian authorities ruthlessly suppressed dissidents, and the election was condemned by the country’s political opposition and Western countries as being manipulated.

Lukashenko, who has been in office since 1994, has denied these allegations.

Critics of his government, including the United States, condemned the authorities’ actions against Zimanusskaya.

US Secretary of State Anthony Brinken accused Belarus of trying to force her to go home on Tuesday, which is a kind of “transnational repression.”

He said on Twitter: “This kind of behavior violates the Olympic spirit, is an insult to fundamental rights and cannot be tolerated.”

Poland is another staunch opponent of the Lukashenko government and has become home to more and more Belarusian dissidents. At the same time, it condemned the “criminal attempt” to kidnap athletes.

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