Tyrannical politics in the shadow of the Olympics: Belarusian sprinter Christina Taminovskaya, who was due to compete in the 200m tomorrow, said she was taken to Tokyo airport after senior members of the delegation ordered her to return to the country due to criticism of the coaches on Instagram.
Taminovskaya (24) said that today she was ordered to pack her things and she was taken to the airport to board a flight to Minsk with a stopover in Istanbul. The order came a day after she published a post in which she expressed outrage that she had been assigned to the 4X400 Apostles Run without her knowledge after some of the participants did not arrive because they did not perform enough drug tests.
The athlete admitted that she is afraid to return to Belarus and said that she does not intend to leave Tokyo but to seek political asylum in Europe. She is reportedly still staying at the airport and police are trying to resolve the crisis, and the chairman of the European Olympic Committee, Spyros Cepralos, has also called on the International Olympic Committee to intervene in the affair.
The Belarus Olympic Committee said in a statement that “in the context of the emotional and psychological state of the athlete Christina Taminovskaya, the athletes’ training team has decided to cancel her appearance at the Games”.
The dictatorial president, Victor Lukneshko, threatened that athletes returning from Tokyo without medals would face heavy punishment. “If you intend to get there like tourists and return without anything, it is better for you not to return to the country,” he said. “I tell you this as president. Interpret it as you wish.”