(Bloomberg) -- A Belarusian sprinter who was reportedly pressured to leave Tokyo halfway through the Games for criticizing sporting officials from her country is in talks with authorities at the city’s Haneda airport, the International Olympic Committee said.
The IOC and Tokyo 2020 officials will continue their conversations with both authorities and the 24-year-old athlete, Krystsina Tsimanouskaya, “to determine the next steps in the upcoming days,” the IOC said in a tweet Monday.
“She has told us that she feels safe,” the committee said on Twitter. The IOC has also asked the Belarusian Olympic Committee for clarification about the reports, it said.
Tsimanouskaya had refused to get on a flight from the Japanese capital after being taken to the airport against her wishes and was seeking asylum in another country, Reuters reported earlier.
The runner had criticized the Belarusian Olympic Committee on social media, saying coaches had suddenly told her to take part in a relay race for which she hadn’t trained, because other athletes had failed to complete the requisite number of doping tests, Reuters said.
She ran in a women’s 100-meter qualifier on Friday and was scheduled to run Monday in a qualifying heat in the 200 meters, according to Tokyo Olympics data. She has also been listed as a member of the Belarusian women’s 400-meter relay team.
The EU, the U.S. and other governments earlier this year imposed sanctions on Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko’s government over its treatment of political opponents. These include a dissident journalist detained after the forced landing of a Ryanair flight in May.
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The president of the Belarus Olympic Committee is Lukashenko’s son, Viktor Lukashenko.
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