Olympics 2020: Czechs offer asylum to Belarus athlete

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The Czech Republic on Monday said it had offered asylum to Belarusian sprinter Kristina Timanovskaya who complained her team was attempting to send her home from Japan following a row.
“The Japanese authorities have just confirmed to us that the Belarusian athlete Kryscina Tsimanouskaya has received our offer of asylum,” Foreign Minister Jakub Kulhanek said on Twitter.
“If she decides to accept it, we will help her as much as possible. The Olympics are not about politics, the methods of the (President Alexander) Lukashenko regime are absolutely shameful,” he said.
Timanovskaya spent the night in an airport hotel after seeking protection late Sunday with Tokyo 2020 officials to avoid getting on a plane, the International Olympic Committee said.
She alleged overnight that her team wanted to send her home after she criticised Belarus’s athletics federation for entering her into a relay race in Tokyo without giving her notice.
Polish authorities have also offered to help Timanovskaya with a humanitarian visa to pursue her career in Poland.
Slovenian Prime Minister Janez Jansa has also offered to host Timanovskaya.

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