Monday, August 09, 2021
Victims of the “Lukashenko Regime”
Sprinter auctioned medal in protest
Kristina Timanowskaja is supposed to be brought from Tokyo to Belarus against her will, the Olympic Games will be a nightmare for the sprinter. Timanowskaja has now landed in Poland – and wants to support athletes from there who are also suffering from the government.
The Belarusian sprinter Kristina Timanowskaja is auctioning off a silver medal she won in 2019 after her forced exit from the Olympics. The money will go to athletes who have fallen out of favor with the authorities. The team relay medal awarded at the European Games in Minsk will be auctioned at Timanovskaya’s request to support Belarusian athletes who “suffered from the actions of the Lukashenko regime,” said the Belarusian Sports Solidarity Foundation. The organization supports athletes who have been jailed or disadvantaged because of their political views. Stand around noon the bid in the auction on eBay until August 18th at $ 20,100.
According to her own statements, the sprinter had got into a dispute with her delegation in Tokyo. She complained about her coach and was supposed to be sent back to her home country against her will. Timanowskaja went public with these allegations and sought protection in the Polish embassy in Tokyo. Eventually she flew to Warsaw via Vienna, where she and her husband received visas for humanitarian reasons.
Timanovskaya said she was “surprised that the situation turned into such a political scandal because it started as a sporting problem”. The sprinter said: “I just want to pursue my sporting career. I spoke to my parents and they said Poland would be a good option because they could move here at some point.” In their case, high-ranking politicians from Europe and the United States had also intervened. For example, Federal Foreign Minister Heiko Maas and his US counterpart Antony Blinken condemned the alleged actions of the Belarusian delegation
President Alexander Lukashenko has been ruling Belarus since 1994, and he has cracked down on critics with a hard hand. This also applies to top athletes, some of whom have been jailed for participating in street protests. Regarding the Timanowskaja case, Lukashenko said on Monday that the athlete had been manipulated to flee to Poland during the Olympic Games.
The International Olympic Committee (IOC) had already imposed sanctions on the National Olympic Committee of Belarus last year. Head of state Lukashenko had to give up his post as chairman, his son and successor Viktor was refused recognition by the IOC. In addition, the financial contributions are suspended.