Belarus Sprinter Tsimanouskaya Escapes Tokyo For Vienna In Last-Minute Security Switch
Belarus sprinter Krystsina Tsimanouskaya is on a flight for Vienna after criticising her home nation.
24-year-old Tsimanouskaya’s public criticism of her country has led to a dramatic situation in the Tokyo Olympic Games. The athlete has said that Belarus has ‘made it clear’ that she would face punishment if she returned to the country, which is ruled by an autocratic government.
The sprinter claims that she was made to go to go to the airport against her wishes on Sunday. The Polish embassy has offered her a humanitarian visa, and Tsimanouskaya is now heading to the country but has had a last-minute route change.
It seems that the athlete is not taking a direct route to Poland. Instead, the sprinter was spotted catching a flight to Vienna. Originally, the athlete was set to board LOT Polish Airlines flight 80 bound for Warsaw from Narita.
Discussing the route, The Guardian Polish deputy foreign minister Marcin Przydacz said, ‘As we have indicated many times, for safety reasons we do not provide details of the flight route.’
The International Olympic Committee (IOC) is continuing to investigate the situation and is expecting a report from the Belarusian team on what happened.
Belarus itself is experiencing protests triggered by an election last year that the opposition says was rigged to keep Alexander Lukashenko in power. This has led to violent scenes as the government suppresses this protests.
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