After arriving in Poland, the Belarusian athlete Kristina Timanovskaya, who fled, expressed her relief.

She was "happy to be safe," said the 24-year-old, who gained worldwide fame with kidnapping allegations against her own delegation during the Olympic Games, on Thursday in Warsaw.

Poland has offered Timanovskaya a humanitarian visa, which she intends to accept.

Timanovskaya said she was "surprised that the situation turned into such a political scandal because it started as a sporting problem".

The sprinter assured: “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. "

Timanowskaja reported that her husband Arseni Zdanewitsch was also on his way to Poland, where more and more Belarusian government critics are seeking refuge.

The Polish government announced that Zdanewitsch will also receive a humanitarian visa.

Her parents reported to her “that they say bad things about me on (Belarusian; ed.) Television.

I got a lot of bad news, but more messages of support, ”said Timanovskaya.

Criticism of the Belarusian delegation from Maas and Blinken

In their case, high-ranking politicians from Europe and the United States had also intervened.

For example, Federal Foreign Minister Heiko Maas and his American counterpart Antony Blinken condemned the alleged actions of the Belarusian delegation, which Timanovskaya wanted to withdraw from the Olympic Games in Tokyo on Sunday against their will and bring them home because of critical statements about their coaches.

It is uncertain what the consequences of this will be for the National Olympic Committee of Belarus.

Athletes' associations had called for immediate exclusion during the Tokyo Games.

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) had already imposed sanctions on the NOK last year.

The internationally controversial head of state Alexandr Lukashenko had to give up his position as chairman, his son and successor Viktor was denied recognition by the IOC.

In addition, the financial contributions are suspended.

On Wednesday, the IOC set up a disciplinary commission and announced that it would question athletics trainer Yuri Moisewitsch and functionary Artur Shumak on the Timanovskaya case.

Timanovskaya was one of 2,000 athletes who signed an open letter calling for new government elections and the release of political prisoners. Lukashenko has been using police violence against the democracy movement in his country since the 2020 election.