A Belarusian sprinter said she was taken to the airport against her will on Sunday to board a return flight after publicly complaining about national coaches at the Tokyo Olympics.
Krystsina Tsimanouskaya, who was due to compete in the women’s 200-meters on Monday, told Reuters she had no plans to return to her country and had sought protection from Japanese police at Haneda Airport in Tokyo so that she does not have to board the flight. .
“I will not be returning to Belarus,” she told Reuters in a message via Telegram.
The Belarusian Olympic Committee did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
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Tsimanouskaya, 24, said coaching staff came to his room on Sunday and told him to pack his bags. She was taken to the airport before she could run the 200-meter and 4 × 400-meter relay on Thursday.
She said she was taken off the squad due “to the fact that I spoke on my Instagram about the negligence of our coaches”.
Tsimanouskaya had previously complained about being entered in the 4 × 400m relay after some team members were found ineligible to compete in the Olympics because they had not undergone a sufficient number of doping tests.
“Some of our girls didn’t fly here to participate in the 4 × 400m relay because they didn’t have enough doping tests,” Tsimanouskaya told Reuters from the airport.
“And the coach added me to the relay without my knowledge. I have spoken about it publicly. The head coach came to me and told me there was an order from above to pull me out. “
Tsimanouskaya added that she stood next to Japanese police at the airport and contacted a member of the Belarusian diaspora in Japan to pick her up from the airport.
Haneda Police said there was no one immediately available for comment.