Kristina Timanowskaja, the Belarusian sprinter, who was supposed to be forced to return home by the National Olympic Committee of her country and thus missed her 200-meter race in the Olympic Stadium in Tokyo, can travel to Poland. The Polish government issued her a visa on Monday. Poland's deputy foreign minister, Marcin Przydacz, tweeted on Sunday, while Timanowskaja was in police custody at Tokyo's Haneda Airport, that Poland was offering her a humanitarian visa and the freedom to continue her career in Poland. TV pictures from the Japanese broadcaster NHK showed Kristina Timanowskaja entering the Polish embassy in Tokyo on Monday. Meanwhile it became knownthat her husband and young child have left Belarus across the Ukrainian border and are safe from any reprisals from the regime of dictator Alexandr Lukashenko.
Correspondent for business and politics in Japan, based in Tokyo.
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On Monday morning, the Japanese government and the International Olympic Committee in Tokyo confirmed that Timanovskaya was safe.
Government spokesman Katsunobu Kato had stated that the athlete was safe with the help of relevant organizations.
Work on confirming their intentions and wishes.
The IOC had contact with her again on Monday morning, IOC spokesman Mark Adams told journalists.
"She feels safe," said Adams.
That night, IOC Director James Macleod had spoken to Timanovskaya at the airport that the UN refugee agency UNHCR was also involved.
IOC spokesman Adams did not provide any details about the background to the case, and it also remained open how the athlete, according to her own statements, could be brought from the Olympic village to Haneda airport by the Belarusian team against her will on Sunday, from where she to Istanbul via Istanbul Minsk should fly. "We don't know what happened in the Olympic village on Sunday evening," said organizing committee spokesman Masa Takaya in response to reports that the athlete had been kidnapped. According to the Olympic rules, the IOC is responsible for the safety of the athletes in the Olympic village. The Belarusian Olympic Committee had stated that it had been decided on the advice of doctors to remove Timanovskaya from the Olympic team because of her "emotional, mental state".The IOC has requested a statement from the Belarusian NOK. It remains to be seen whether Japanese authorities will initiate criminal investigations.Keywords: