Hours after Belarusian sprinter Kristina Timanovskya refused to board a flight out of Japan, she was given received a humanitarian visa from Poland on Monday.
Kiristina who said she feared arrest also claimed that she was being forced to return to her native country.
In reaction to the situation, Poland’s Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs, Marcin Przydacz, announced on Twitter that Timanovskaya had been granted the visa.
Przydacz posted, “Poland will do whatever is necessary to help her to continue her sporting career. [Poland] always stands for solidarity,”
Meanwhile, in the early hours of Monday, there were reports that Timanovskaya was seen entering the Polish embassy.
According to Anatol Kotau, of the Belarus Sports Solidarity Foundation, which represents athletes repressed by Belarusian authorities, late Sunday, the 24-year-old Olympic athlete was moved from Tokyo’s Haneda Airport and “secured by police in a special shelter,” where she was said to be “safe for now”.
International Olympic Committee (IOC) have also made comments concerning the development. The committee said on Monday that Timanovskaya had spent the night at an airport hotel and was in the hands of Japanese authorities.