Japan: Belarus runner concerned in airport standoff is secure

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Japan: Belarus runner concerned in airport standoff is secure



Japan’s authorities says a Belarus observe sprinter is secure after she alleged her Olympic group tried to take away her from Japan in a dispute that led to a standoff at Tokyo’s foremost airportBy GRAHAM DUNBAR and DANIEL KOZIN Related PressAugust 2, 2021, 8:35 AM• 3 min readShare to FacebookShare to TwitterEmail this articleTOKYO — Japan’s authorities mentioned a Belarus observe sprinter was secure Monday after she alleged her Olympic group tried to take away her from Japan in a dispute that led to a standoff at Tokyo’s foremost airport.An activist group supporting Krystsina Tsimanouskaya mentioned she believed her life was at risk in Belarus and she or he would search asylum with the Austrian Embassy in Tokyo.Japanese authorities spokesman Katsunobu Kato instructed reporters that Japan was cooperating with different organizations “to take applicable measures,” and confirmed that Tsimanouskaya was secure. The Overseas Ministry mentioned Japan was working with the Worldwide Olympic Committee and the Tokyo Olympics organizers.Tsimanouskaya mentioned in a filmed message distributed on social media that she was pressured by Belarus group officers and requested the IOC for assist.“I used to be put underneath strain and they’re making an attempt to forcibly take me overseas with out my consent,” the 24-year-old runner mentioned.Tsimanouskaya, who is because of run within the Olympic 200-meter heats Monday, criticized Belarus group officers on her Instagram account. She mentioned she’d been put within the 4×400 relay regardless of by no means racing the occasion.The Belarusian Sport Solidarity Basis mentioned authorities supporters focused the athlete, and Tsimanouskaya contacted the group for assist to keep away from what she feared was a compelled deportation to Minsk.“The marketing campaign was fairly critical and that was a transparent sign that her life can be at risk in Belarus,” Alexander Opeikin, a spokesman for the BSSF, instructed The Related Press in an interview.Tsimanouskaya summoned Japanese police at Haneda Airport and didn’t board a flight departing for Istanbul. Overseas ministry officers arrived later on the airport, Opeikin mentioned.In a press release launched by the BSSF, Tsimanouskaya mentioned she was in a police station early Monday morning.”I defined the scenario to a police officer of how I used to be taken from the Olympic Village,” she mentioned. “Now I’m in a safe scenario and am determining the query of the place I’ll spend the evening.”The IOC, which has been in dispute with the Belarus Nationwide Olympic Committee forward of the Tokyo Video games, mentioned it had intervened.“The IOC … is trying into the scenario and has requested the NOC for clarification,” it mentioned in a press release.Belarus’ neighbor, Poland, the place many critics of the Minsk regime have come to dwell, supplied assist to Tsimanouskaya. Deputy Overseas Minister Marcin Przydacz mentioned on Twitter that Tsimanouskaya has been supplied a “humanitarian visa and is free to pursue her sporting profession in Poland if she so chooses.”The Belarus Nationwide Olympic Committee has been led for greater than 25 years by authoritarian state president Alexander Lukashenko and his son, Viktor.Each Lukashenkos are banned from the Tokyo Olympics by the IOC, which investigated complaints from athletes that they confronted reprisals and intimidation in fallout from protests since final August after the nation’s disputed presidential election.A spokeswoman for the Belarus Olympic group didn’t reply to a request for remark.Tsimanouskaya was taken to a secure place and would ask for asylum from the Austrian embassy, Opeikin mentioned.Tsimanouskaya already competed for Belarus on the primary day of observe occasions Friday on the Nationwide Stadium in Tokyo. She positioned fourth in her first-round warmth within the 100 meters, timing 11.47 seconds, and didn’t advance.———Kozin reported from Moscow.———Extra AP Olympics: https://apnews.com/hub/2020-tokyo-olympics and https://twitter.com/AP—Sports activities



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