Tuesday, September 21, 2021

IOC launches formal investigation into Belarus sprinter case

The International Olympic Committee has launched a formal investigation into allegations that Belarus attempted to force an athlete to return home. IOC Spokesman Mark Adams said that they need to establish the full facts which may take time.

In the meanwhile, the Belarus athlete Krystina Timanovskaya, 24, has been granted a humanitarian visa by Poland and is now at its embassy in Tokyo. She is expected to leave Japan tomorrow, her supporters have said. Ms Timanovskaya said, she was taken to the airport against her will after criticising coaches and voiced fears for her safety. Japan’s Foreign Minister has said the sprinter is now safe. The IOC has requested that the Belarus National Olympic Committee to submit its report on the incident today.

Belarus said, she was removed from the team because of her emotional state. However, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken condemned Belarus’ attempt to force the athlete to leave Japan as transnational repression. In a tweet, he said that such actions violate the Olympic spirit, are an affront to basic rights and cannot be tolerated.

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