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Belarus Olympics: Krystsina Tsimanouskaya refusing to fly home Belarus Olympics: Krystsina Tsimanouskaya refusing to fly home
(32 minutes later)
Krystsina Tsimanouskaya was taken to Haneda Airport on SundayKrystsina Tsimanouskaya was taken to Haneda Airport on Sunday
A Belarusian Olympic athlete has been taken to the airport in Tokyo to fly home after publicly complaining about the national team.A Belarusian Olympic athlete has been taken to the airport in Tokyo to fly home after publicly complaining about the national team.
Krystsina Tsimanouskaya was due to compete in the women's 200m event on Monday.Krystsina Tsimanouskaya was due to compete in the women's 200m event on Monday.
But she told Reuters news agency that on Sunday her coaching staff came to her room and told her to pack, before she was taken to the airport. But after posting a video complaining about being entered into another race at short notice, she says she was told to pack and taken to the airport.
"I will not return to Belarus," Ms Tsimanouskaya told Reuters news agency. She has now called on the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to intervene.
She had previously alleged in an Instagram video that she was entered into this Thursday's 400m relay event at short notice by Belarusian officials, after some team mates were found to be ineligible to compete. "They are trying to get me out of the country without my permission," she said in a video posted on messaging app Telegram. "I am asking the IOC to get involved."
In a short statement the IOC said it had seen media reports about the sprinter and had asked Belarus's National Olympic Committee for clarification.
Earlier Ms Tsimanouskaya told radio station European Radio for Belarus (ERB) she was afraid to return to her country.
She had previously alleged in a video posted online that she was entered into this Thursday's 400m relay event at short notice by Belarusian officials, after some team mates were found to be ineligible to compete.
State media criticised her after she posted the video, with ONT television channel saying that she lacked "team spirit".
On Sunday she says that her coaches came to her room and told her to pack and to fly home. She was reportedly booked onto Turkish Airlines flight 199 from Tokyo to Istanbul.
The sprinter told Reuters she was removed from her team because she "spoke on my Instagram about the negligence of our coaches".The sprinter told Reuters she was removed from her team because she "spoke on my Instagram about the negligence of our coaches".
The Belarus Olympic Team however announced later that she was taken off the team because of her "emotional and psychological condition", and would not compete in either the 200m race or the 400m relay event. The Belarus Olympic Team however said later that she was taken off the team because of her "emotional and psychological condition", and would not compete in either the 200m race or the 400m relay event.
She is now at Tokyo's Haneda airport with Japanese police, and, according to Belarus journalist Tadeusz Giczan, wants to apply for asylum in Austria.She is now at Tokyo's Haneda airport with Japanese police, and, according to Belarus journalist Tadeusz Giczan, wants to apply for asylum in Austria.
Japanese police have arrived to the airport. “I am with the police right now. They are deciding what could be done” - Tsimanouskaya. pic.twitter.com/PPYHsvMYMiJapanese police have arrived to the airport. “I am with the police right now. They are deciding what could be done” - Tsimanouskaya. pic.twitter.com/PPYHsvMYMi