Belarus Olympic athlete seeks asylum at Polish embassy in Tokyo

A Belarusian Olympic athlete who refused to fly home over fears for her safety has entered the Polish embassy in Tokyo – where she is understood to be seeking asylum.

Krystsina Tsimanouskaya said she was taken to Tokyo’s main airport against her will after being thrown off Belarus’ Olympic team. She had criticized her coaches. Belarusian officials blamed what they called her emotional and psychological condition for the decision.

The sprinter was due to compete in the 200 meters on Monday. The Slovenian and Czech governments have also offered humanitarian visas for the athlete.