Olympics-Belarusian sprinter auctions medal to support athletes caught up in crackdown By Reuters


© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Belarusian sprinter Krystsina Tsimanouskaya, who left the Olympic Video games in Tokyo and seeks asylum in Poland, attends a information convention in Warsaw, Poland August 5, 2021. REUTERS/Darek Golik


By Gabrielle Tétrault-Farber

WARSAW (Reuters) – Sprinter Krystsina Tsimanouskaya, who was faraway from the Tokyo Olympics by the Belarusian workforce after she criticised her coaches, is auctioning a medal from the 2019 European Video games to assist athletes who say they’ve been focused by authorities.

Belarusian workforce officers took the 24-year-old to Tokyo’s Haneda airport in opposition to her needs on Aug. 1, a day earlier than she had been set to run the 200m.

She refused to board the flight residence and has since sought refuge in Poland, fearing for her security if she returned to Belarus.

Tsimanouskaya instructed Reuters activities/exclusive-olympics-belarusian-athlete-says-she-was-taken-airport-go-home-after-2021-08-01 the explanation she had been faraway from the workforce was her public criticism of “the negligence of our coaches.”

She mentioned she had been entered within the 4x400m relay with out her information after some workforce members had been discovered to be ineligible to compete as a result of that they had not undergone sufficient doping checks.

The Belarusian Sport Solidarity Basis, a gaggle that helps athletes jailed or sidelined for his or her political opinions, mentioned on Monday the medal was being auctioned at Tsimanouskaya’s request in assist of Belarusian athletes “who suffered from the actions of Lukashenko’s regime.”

As of Monday morning, bids for the medal had reached $5,200 on eBay (NASDAQ:).

President Alexander Lukashenko has been accused of orchestrating an unprecedented crackdown on demonstrators and opposition figures within the wake of a presidential election held a 12 months in the past that critics and observers say was rigged. He denies electoral fraud.

The crackdown has affected elite athletes, a few of whom have been jailed for becoming a member of road protests.

In an announcement carried by the muse, Tsimanouskaya mentioned the silver medal she gained within the workforce relay on the 2019 European Video games within the Belarusian capital Minsk carried particular that means.

“These competitions had been extraordinarily essential for me as they had been held on the residence area,” she mentioned. “Plenty of individuals, together with my household and relations, got here to cheer for me.”

The Worldwide Olympic Committee (IOC) on Friday ordered two Belarusian officers – athletics head coach Yuri Moisevich and workforce official Artur Shumak – to have their accreditation revoked and be faraway from the Video games.

The Belarusian Olympic Committee has mentioned coaches withdrew Tsimanouskaya from the Tokyo Olympics on docs’ recommendation about her emotional and psychological state.

In an unique interview with Reuters in Warsaw on Thursday, Tsimanouskaya mentioned the 2 officers had instructed her the order to ship her residence got here from “excessive up” in Belarus.

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