THE Belarus Olympic sprinter Krystsina Tsimanouskaya has been warned “it’s the end of you as a person” by the country’s state media.
A leaked audio recording reveals how Belarusian sports officials sought to pile threats and psychological pressure on Tsimanouskaya, 24, to fly home in shame from the Tokyo Olympics without making a fuss.
Her husband is said to have fled Belarus for Ukraine.
In her homeland, a campaign of hate against her has been launched branding her a “rotten dog” and a “pretentious Instagram diva”.
State owned ONT news threatened her with a sinister warning: “Something tells us that this is the end of Tsimanouskaya, not even as a sports person, but just as a person.”
She had publicly criticised her country’s sports officials who report to the feared authoritarian leader’s son Viktor Lukashenko, head of the Belarus Olympic Committee.
Now an audio tape has emerged on allegedly highlighting Tsimanouskaya’s strained conversation with two officials where she is likened to “gangrene” and ordered to fly home amid suspicions this was personally ordered by President Lukashenko.
The officials are identified as head coach of the Belarusian national athletics team, Yury Moisevich, and deputy director of the Belarusian Republican Olympic Training Centre for Athletics, Artur Shumak.
Shumak told her an order had come from Minsk that she must return, but she is plainly fearful of the fate that would await her if she travelled.
Her supporters have claimed her life would be in danger if she travelled, and she sought help from Japanese officials at the airport.
“An instruction has been received: you are flying home today,” Shumak told her, warning her to stop complaining.
“Listen to what they recommend to you: return, go home, to your parents, anywhere. And just let go of this situation. Otherwise, the more you twitch…
“You know, when a fly gets into a web, the more it moves, the more it gets entangled. This is how life works.
“We do stupid things, you have done something stupid. I hope you understand that…
“You are to blame for the accusations and comments that you made.”
‘SHUT UP AND GO HOME’
Moisevich told her bluntly “you just need to shut up” and go home.
He also demanded that she repaid her $150 USD (£108) daily allowance for athletes in Tokyo.
She accuses the pair of “covering your asses” in trying to force her back to Belarus.
Unless she went quietly home “you will go down in history – this started with Timanouskaya, she made all this mess”.
But she told them that if she flies quietly home “it will not end well for me”.
Moisevich warned her: “If you stay against our will, you understand, nothing good will happen.”
He ordered her: “Obey how it should be.”
She wanted to remain at the Olympics and compete in the 200 metres.
But he told her: “You cannot stay.
“You won’t prove anything to anyone, neither to yourself nor to others. You just make the situation worse.”
Apparently fearful of his own future if she failed to catch the plane home, he told her: “We do not threaten you, we do not order you. We do not scare you, we just ask you to listen to us.”
An excuse would be made about her having an injury and she would “stay in athletics” after she went home.
She countered: “I don’t believe that.”
He hit back likening her to gangrene.
“If (you) do not obey, then we have no escape routes.
“You know, if there is gangrene, they cut off half of the leg, otherwise they cannot save the whole organism.
“Yes, sorry for the leg. Otherwise, stay with your leg and die.”
She was a “smart girl” and should understand the consequences of failing to obey.
“Believe me, I’m not saving my own ass,” he said.
Despite all the pressure on her to return to Minsk quietly, she told the pair: “I did not say that I agree.”
She made it clear that she did not believe their claims she would be safe returning.
“I’m not proving anything, I just want to run,” she said.
Tsimanouskaya had lashed out at sports officials after being ordered to run in a relay when other runners were found to be ineligible due to “negligence” by Belarus sports officials.
Her public criticisms led to a harsh rebuke from the official media in Belarus.
State owned ONT news warned her: “Something tells us that this is the end of Tsimanouskaya, not even as a sports person, but just as a person.
“Like sports people themselves say, she didn’t start well, and she is finishing badly.”
In a campaign of vilification against her, Alexander Bogdanovich, Olympic rowing champion, said: “When she was supposed to give her shoulder (to support the team), she didn’t seek to perform, but wanted hype.
“Some people fight for medals, some have other purposes.”
ONT said that Belarusian people should “feel ashamed” of her.
“Athletes of the past didn’t think about their fees, expenses, hype or any other Instagram rubbish.
“They won without this, like real people.
She was labelled as a “pretentious Instagram diva”.
One comment branded her “a rotten dog she is, a waste of space”.
Another said: “Who does she think she is to judge our leadership’s decisions?
“How dare she argue and challenge them?”
Meanwhile, several European countries including Poland and Czech Republic have indicated they will offer her political asylum.
62 total views, 2 views today