Tokyo Olympics: IOC to launch formal investigation into Krystsina Tsimanouskaya situation

Reuters
New Delhi, Delhi, India Published: Aug 03, 2021, 10:55 AM(IST)

Krystsina Tsimanouskaya Photograph:( Reuters )

Story highlights

KrystsinaTsimanouskaya, 24, had been due to compete in the women's 200-meter heats on Monday but said that on Sunday she was taken out of her room in the athletes' village and driven to the airport to board a flight home after criticizing team officials.

The IOC said on Tuesday (August 3) it was waiting for a report later in the day from the Belarusian National Olympic Committee on the case of sprinter Krystsina Tsimanouskaya, after launching an investigation into the incident that has rocked the Games.

The athlete took refuge in the Polish embassy in Tokyo on Monday, a day after refusing her team's orders to board a flight home from the Olympic Games. Warsaw has offered her a humanitarian visa.

International Olympic Committee spokesperson Mark Adams told reporters the body had spoken to the athlete twice on Monday, that she was in a safe, secure place, and that the IOC needed to know all the facts before taking further action.

ALSO READ: Tokyo Olympics: History-maker Laurel Hubbard says not a transgender role model, but an athlete

Asked whether an IOC decision on the matter would come during the Games, Adams said it was not possible to estimate how long the investigation would take.

Tsimanouskaya, 24, had been due to compete in the women's 200-meter heats on Monday but said that on Sunday she was taken out of her room in the athletes' village and driven to the airport to board a flight home after criticizing team officials.

The incident has focussed attention on Belarus, where police have cracked down on dissent following a wave of protests triggered by an election last year which the opposition says was rigged to keep Lukashenko in power.

In March, the IOC refused to recognize the election of Lukashenko's son Viktor as head of the country's Olympic Committee. Both father and son were banned from attending the Games in December.

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken blasted Belarus' attempt to send Tsimanouskaya home.

"Such actions violate the Olympic spirit, are an affront to basic rights, and cannot be tolerated," Blinken wrote on Twitter late on Monday.

Read in App