Belarus athlete Tsimanouskaya auctions medal to help dissident athletes
Krakow, Poland, Aug 9 (EFE).- Belarusian sprinter Krystsina Tsimanouskaya, who abandoned Tokyo 2020 and sought refuge in Poland, is auctioning a sporting medal to raise funds for Belarusian dissident athletes.
Tsimanouskaya on Monday put a 100m silver medal she won at the 2019 European Games up for sale on ebay for nine days, with the bid price reaching over 17,000 euros at 12:00 GMT.
The auction has been held “at the request of Krystsina Tsimanouskaya,” the Belarusian Sports Solidarity Foundation, which supported her decision to travel from Tokyo to Poland, said in a statement.
The move aims to “support the athletes who have suffered from the actions of the regime of (Aleksander) Lukashenko,” the statement added.
The 24-year-old said she had received an order to return to Belarus on 1 August after publicly criticizing the team officials.
Over fears for her life, Tsimanouskaya sought protection from police at Tokyo’s Haneda Airport after she said Belarusian team officials planned to transfer her to the airport to be sent back to Belarus against her will.
Instead she traveled to Warsaw after being granted a humanitarian visa by the Polish authorities.
The Belarusian Olympic Committee, headed by the president’s son Viktor Lukashenko, said in a statement that Tsymanouskaya was withdrawn from the Games on doctors’ advice about her “emotional, psychological state.” EFE