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Current Affairs

Belarusian Olympian sprinter refuses to return home

Date: 06 August 2021 Tags: Miscellaneous

Issue

Belarusian sprinter has refused to board a flight to her country after having public fallout with coaching team and officials.

 

Background

The athlete fears for her safety after a suspicious death of an anti-government activist in Ukraine.

 

Details

  • The athlete, Krystina Tsimanouskaya, believes that her country’s autocratic government will punish her and has been seeking help from other countries.

  • She has applied for refuge in Poland and has been granted a temporary visa on humanitarian basis. She had been staying in Polish embassy in Tokyo.

 

Conflict in Belarus

  • Belarus is ruled by authoritarian president Alexander Lukashenko. Critics of the President and his rule have been silenced.

  • After the revelation by the athlete, many other participating athletes have claimed that they also intend not to return to their home due to threats and repressive climate.

 

Start of incident

  • The athlete had a fight with officials of the country for forcefully enlisting her in 4X400 relay team. After this incident, she was barred from participating in 200m race.

  • After speaking against this incident on social media, she was taken forcefully to the airport by the team officials, where she approached Japanese police for help.

 

Tense situation in Belarus

  • Wide scale protests are taking place in Belarus against the authoritarian rule of long-time president Lukashenko.

  • Many critics and political opponents have been detained or forced to leave the country. This move has been opposed by international media.

  • Lukashenko has accused US of joining hands with his political opponents to overthrow his government as he is perceived to be an ally of Russian president Putin.

  • It is said that athletes leaving for Olympics have been warned not to return empty handed. This has created fear among many sportsmen.