Krystsina Tsimanouskaja, an angry sprinter who has angered the Belarusian leadership, has been issued a humanitarian visa to Poland.
Belarusian runner Krystsina Tsimanouskaja, 24, is currently flying from Japan to Austria.
Originally Tsimanouskajan was to fly directly to Poland, which has issued him with a humanitarian visa.
However, according to AFP and Reuters, the runner’s destination had been changed at the last minute due to safety concerns.
The case of Tsimanouskaya made headlines on Sunday when the Belarusian Olympic Committee tried to forcibly repatriate the runner-up of this criticized national team leadership on social media.
The sprinter refused to return. Belarus is an autonomously run country and he said he feared imprisonment.
Tsimanouskaja departed from Japan on Wednesday on an Austrian Airlines flight scheduled to land in the Austrian capital, Vienna, at four in the afternoon local time. However, he is expected to continue his journey to Poland from there, AFP says.
The runner had arrived at Narita Airport from the Polish Embassy escorted by police and did not comment on the reporters present.
The Prime Minister of Poland Mateusz Morawiecki said on Tuesday he had spoken to Tsimanouskaya and added that the runner is “well taken care of”.
“I assured you that he can count on Polish support. In the coming days, he will fly to Warsaw, where he can thrive without obstacles, ”Morawiecki wrote on Facebook.
Case originated when Tsimanouskaya was reported to the Olympic news team without his knowledge. Some members of the actual message team in Belarus did not get to the starting line due to deficient doping testing.
The runner expressed his dissatisfaction on Instagram. He stressed in a statement to The New York Times on Tuesday in an interview, there was no political agenda in the criticism.
That is why Tsimanouskaya was surprised by his treatment.
“I just expressed my dissatisfaction with the coaching staff who decided to report me to the message team without telling and asking if I was ready to run,” Tsimanouskaya told the newspaper.
In a BBC interview Tsimanouskaya estimates he will return to Belarus once it is safe.
“I want to return to Belarus because it is my home country and my family lives there. But maybe it’s only possible in five or ten years, ”he pondered.
“I love my country, I didn’t let it down, as has been claimed.”
Runner the public opening angered down to Belarus’s top management. With audio tape spilled into the public The Belarusian Olympic leadership is trying to persuade and pressure Tsimanouskaya to return home in the middle of the Games.
The International Olympic Committee (IOC) said on Tuesday it had launched a formal investigation into the Tsimanouskaya case and was awaiting clarification from the Belarusian Olympic team.
Late last year, the IOC banned the leader of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko from coming to the Olympics precisely because of pressure from athletes. The ban also affected several other members of the Belarus Olympic Committee and government.