Warsaw-Sprinter Chris Zinazi Manoskaya, who was expelled from the Tokyo Olympics by the Belarusian team after criticizing the coach, auctions medals for the 2019 European Games to help athletes say they have been targeted by the authorities. I’m on the road.
A Belarusian team official took the 24-year-old to Tokyo’s Haneda Airport on August 1, the day before she was ready to run 200 meters, contrary to her wishes.
She refused to board her return flight and has since sought refuge in Poland for fear of safety when returning to Belarus.
Tsimanouskaya told Reuters that the reason she was removed from the team was her public criticism of “our coach’s negligence.”
She said she unknowingly participated in the 4x400m relay after it was discovered that some team members were unable to participate in the competition due to insufficient doping testing.
The Belarusian Sports Solidarity Foundation, a group that supports athletes imprisoned or abstained due to political views, received a medal at the request of Zimanuskaya on Monday to support Belarusian athletes who “suffered the actions of the Lukashenko administration.” Said it was auctioned.
As of Monday morning, medal bids had reached $ 5,200 on eBay.
President Alexander Lukashenko has been accused of organizing an unprecedented repression campaign against demonstrators and opposition forces in the wake of a year-old presidential election that critics and observers said was fraudulent. He denies fraudulent elections.
Elite athletes have been affected, some of whom have been imprisoned for participating in street protests.
In a statement released by the Foundation, Zimanuskaya said the silver medal won at the team relay of the 2019 European Games in Minsk, the capital of Belarus, has special significance.
“These competitions were very important to me because they were held in the home arena,” she said. “Many people, including my family and relatives, have supported me.”
Friday’s International Olympic Committee (IOC) asks two Belarusian officers (athletics head coach Yuri Moisevic and team officer Arthur Schmack) to revoke certification and remove it from the Games. I ordered.
The Belarus Olympic Committee said the coach had withdrawn Zimanuskaya from the Tokyo Olympics based on the doctor’s advice on her emotional and psychological state.
In an exclusive interview with Reuters in Warsaw on Thursday, Zimanoskaya said two officials had told her that the order to send her home came from the “highlands” of Belarus.
Gabrielle Tétrault-by Farber