WASHINGTON, August 3. /TASS/. US Secretary of State Antony Blinken has commented on the situation around Belarusian athlete Kristina Timanovskaya at the Tokyo Olympics, stating that Belarus’ actions undermine the Olympic spirit.
"The Lukashenka regime sought to commit another act of transnational repression: attempting to force Olympian Krystsyna Tsimanouskaya to leave simply for exercising free speech. Such actions violate the Olympic spirit, are an affront to basic rights, and cannot be tolerated," the US top diplomat wrote on Monday on his Twitter page.
The Belarusian Olympic Committee announced on Sunday that the national athletics coaching staff decided to send Timanovskaya home over her emotional and mental state. It was initially planned that she would take part in the 100m and 200m races. The coaching staff decided to nominate Timanovskaya to run in the 4x400m relay after two Belarusian runners were disqualified from participating in the event for not supplying enough doping samples. Timanovskaya took to social media to criticize this decision.
Earlier, Belarus’ opposition Sports Solidarity Foundation said that Timanovskaya had allegedly been forced to leave Tokyo due to her criticism of the national track and field athletics coaches. She told Euroradio that she wanted to seek asylum in Europe. In addition, she requested help from the International Olympic Committee via social networks. She claimed she was subject to pressure to leave Japan without her consent. Several European countries have offered her an asylum. The athlete is currently at the Polish Embassy in Tokyo, having obtained a Polish humanitarian visa.