August 2, 2021
Cited article by Helen Regan, Robert Iddiols, Sebastian Shukla, Taylor Barnes and Jim Sciutto, CNN
The Olympic sprinter from Belarus, Kristina Timanovskaya, has been offered a humanitarian Visa by Poland after applying for asylum to Japanese authorities.
Timanovskaya had publicly spoken out against the national sporting authorities after they had entered her into the 4x400 meter relay without her consent. Following this, team officials informed her that despite her scheduled participation in the 200 meter, she was to be immediately flown back to Belarus. With dissenting opinions being harshly punished in Belarus, Timanovskaya feared for her safety and feared imprisonment should she return.
HRRC supports international protections for those who are in fear for their safety and wellbeing. Additionally, it is important to highlight that in events such as the Olympics, the athlete's safety and wellbeing is first and foremost and that should be upheld by their countries and their supporters. Any actions that coerce athletes to perform without or against their consent is condemnable.