Exclusive-Belarusian sprinter decided to defect on way to airport on family fears about safety

Published by
Reuters

By Gabrielle Tétrault-Farber WARSAW (Reuters) – Olympic sprinter Krystsina Tsimanouskaya decided to defect as she was being driven to a Tokyo airport because her grandmother told her that it wasn’t safe to return home to Belarus. In an exclusive interview with Reuters in Warsaw, she said her family feared she would be sent to a psychiatric ward if she went back to Belarus, and that her grandmother had called her to tell her not to return. “I have always been far from politics, I didn’t sign any letters or go to any protests, I didn’t say anything against the Belarusian government,” she said. “…

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