What Happened: Belarus Sprinter Alleges Officials Tried To Force Her Back Home

Belarus’ Olympic sprinter Krystsina Tsimanouskcaya has alleged that officials tried to bundle her on a flight back to Minsk after criticised her team’s management on social media. We have everything you need to know.

What Happened: Belarus Sprinter Alleges Officials Tried To Force Her Back Home What Happened: Belarus Sprinter Alleges Officials Tried To Force Her Back Home
HerSport Editor

Belarus’ Olympic sprinter Krystsina Tsimanouskaya has alleged that officials tried to bundle her on a flight back to Minsk after criticised her team’s management on social media. Tsikhanouskaya stated that officials “made it clear” she would face punishment upon returning home.
The 24-year-old sprinter who was due to compete in the women’s 200m refused to fly home from Tokyo on Sunday, alleging that her team had hustled her to the Japanese airport and was tried to force her to board a flight back to Minsk, against her wishes.


Tsimanouskaya said she had been removed from the team due “to the fact that I spoke on my Instagram about the negligence of our coaches”.
"They are trying to get me out of the country without my permission," she said.
“They made it clear that upon return home I would definitely face some form of punishment,” she told The Associated Press on Tuesday. “There were also thinly disguised hints that more would await me.”
Tsimanouskaya received protection from Japanese police after refusing to fly home and after visiting the Polish embassy the next day, received a humanitarian visa. She will travel to Warsaw later in the week, where she expects to be reunited with her husband.
SO WHAT HAPPENED?
The clashes began after Tsimanouskaya took to Instagram to publicly criticise  the Belarus team’s coaches for failing to conduct the necessary doping tests ahead of the women’s 4x400m race. She was also unhappy that she was put in the 4×400 metres relay even though she has never raced in the event.
Following her outburst, there was backlash in state-run media in Belarus. They criticised saying she lacked "team spirit". The sprinter was then pulled from her favoured 200M event for her comments.
The night before her race, she claims officials came to her room and gave her an hour to pack her bags before being escorted to Tokyo's Haneda airport.
Despte her best efforts, Tsimanouskaya lost the legal fight to allow her to run that race. The Court of Arbitration for Sport said denied Tsimanouskaya's request. At the airport, Tsimanouskaya received protection from Japanese police.


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A few days later, Tsimanouskaya called for a thorough investigation into her withdrawal from the Tokyo Games and “possibly taking sanctions against the head coach who approached me and who deprived me of the right to compete”.
She said she wanted international sports authorities to probe the situation, and look into “who gave the order, [and] who actually took the decision that I can’t compete anymore.”
Tsimanouskaya stopped short of calling for action against the Belarusian Olympic team, however, stating the athletes “aren’t guilty of anything and … should keep competing”.
“I don’t think there should be any sanctions against the athletes,” she said.
The Belarusian Olympic Committee has previously said coaches decided to withdraw Tsimanouskaya from the games on doctors’ advice about her “emotional, [and] psychological state”.
Tsimanouskaya said she believed she would be kicked off of the national team as a result of events in recent days, but added that she hoped to be able to continue running in the future.
“For now I just want to safely arrive in Europe … meet with people who have been helping me and make a decision what to do next,” Tsikhanouskaya said.
“[But] I would very much like to continue my sporting career because I’m just 24 and I had plans for two more Olympics at least,” she added.

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