Kristina Timanovskaya, a Belarusian sprinter competing in Tokyo, posted a video on Sunday calling on the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to help her avoid being sent back to her homeland.
“I have been pressured and they are trying to force me out of the country without my consent. I ask the IOC to intervene, “she said in the short video posted on social networks.
It appeared online after Timanovskaya learned that she would no longer be able to compete for Belarus and had to return to Minsk immediately, according to Anatol Kotau of the Belarusian Sports Solidarity Foundation.
The group represents Belarusian athletes repressed by Belarusian authorities.
Kotau, who is in direct contact with Timanovskaya, said that around 3 p.m. Tokyo time on Sunday, representatives of the Belarusian national team came to the Olympic Village and asked him to “pack his bags because a decision had been made. taken to return to Minsk.
Speaking to CNN by phone, Kotau said Timanovskaya is currently at the Haneda International Airport police station.
According to Kotau, Timanovskaya was scheduled to be on TK0199 bound for Istanbul, departing at 10:50 p.m. local time.
Kotau added that as soon as Timanovskaya arrived at the airport, she approached a Japanese policeman and told him that she would like to apply for political asylum.
In an Instagram post on July 30, she said she was put on a list to compete in the 4x400m relay without her consent. “Never in my life would I start to react so harshly if they came to me ahead of time, explained the situation to me and found out if I can run 400m and I’m ready?” But they decided to do it all behind my back despite the fact that I tried to find out this information but was ignored. “
The International Olympic Committee told CNN in a statement: “The IOC has seen the information in the media, is examining the situation and has requested clarification from the NOC (Belarusian National Olympic Committee).”
CNN has contacted the Belarusian Olympic Committee for comment. CNN also tried to reach Timanovskaya herself. CNN has not received any comments from either party.
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