Belarus Olympian given Polish visa after refusing 'forced' flight home
Olympian Krystina Timanovskaya says she was almost forced on a plane home after criticising coaches.
A sprinter from Belarus who refused her team's order to fly home early from the Olympics has been granted a humanitarian visa by Poland.
Krystina Timanovskaya, 24, is at the Polish embassy in Tokyo after spending the night secured in a hotel under protection from Japanese police.
She said she was forcibly taken to the airport for criticising coaches, and voiced fears for her safety.
Belarus says she was removed from the team because of her emotional state.
Ms Timanovskaya told the BBC on Monday that she was safe, but said she had been advised not to give further details at this stage.
The incident has again put the spotlight on Belarus, which has been ruled by President Alexander Lukashenko since 1994. Last year, nationwide protests over his disputed re-election were violently repressed by the security forces.
Some of those who joined the demonstrations were also national-level athletes, who were stripped of funding, cut from national teams and detained.
Poland's Deputy Foreign Minister Marcin Przydacz said Ms Timanovskaya was in direct contact with Polish diplomats in Tokyo, and that Poland would do "whatever is necessary to help her continue her sporting career".
Her husband has fled to the Ukrainian capital, Kyiv. He is set to join her in Poland, according to a Warsaw-based Belarusian opposition politician.
The Belarusian government has yet to comment on the Polish decision.