Belarusian athlete Kristina Timanovskaya, who left Tokyo Olympics after a conflict with the National Olympic Committee, did not expect the situation to turn into a political issue
WARSAW (Pakistan Point News / Sputnik - 05th August, 2021) Belarusian athlete Kristina Timanovskaya, who left Tokyo Olympics after a conflict with the National Olympic Committee, did not expect the situation to turn into a political issue.
"The situation turned out to be a political scandal, and it was absolutely sports related. Basically, a mistake was made, and owing to that mistake two athletes couldn't come to the Olympic Games. All I said was that someone should be held responsible for making that mistake, and somehow that sports related situation was suddenly turned out to be a highly political issue," Timanovskaya told a press conference in Warsaw on Thursday.
The athlete added that she did not link the situation to politics, and what followed next was a surprise to her.
Timanovskaya was to compete in the women's 100 meter and 200 meter relays on August 2. She was called back from the Olympics after the Belarusian sports authorities entered her in the 4x400m relay without her consent. Belarus said it was concerned about her mental health, but Timanovskaya argued that the authorities tried to send her back to cover up their poor performance.
The athlete refused to return home. Poland has since granted humanitarian visas to Timanovskaya and her husband.