Belarus Runner Showed Japanese Police Plea for Help on Phone

Krystsina Tsimanouskaya said her grandmother advised her not to return to Belarus but she urged her fellow citizens “not to be afraid.”

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In this image taken on Wednesday Aug. 4, 2021 and provided by the National Anti-crisis Management, Belarusian Olympic sprinter Krystsina Tsimanouskaya, right, who seeks foreign refuge from Minsk authorities, poses for a photo with top Belarusian dissident in Poland, Pavel Latushko, left, shortly after her arrival at the Frederic Chopin Airport in Warsaw, Poland. Fearing for her safety at home after criticizing her coaches on social media, Tsimanouskaya flew from Tokyo to Warsaw with a stopover in Vienna. Poland has offered her and her husband humanitarian visas. (National Anti-crisis Management via AP)
Image via AP Photo/Uncredited

This article was republished here with permission from The Associated Press, however it is no longer available to read on Snopes.com.

WARSAW, Poland (AP) — A Belarusian Olympic sprinter who criticized her coaches at the Tokyo Games said Thursday that she showed police at the airport a translated plea for help on her phone as she tried to avoid being put on a plane back home. Krystsina Tsimanouskaya left the Games and arrived in Poland on Wednesday, days after she accused team officials of trying to force her to fly back to Belarus, where an authoritarian…

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