Aleksander Lesun, the Russian champion of the 2016 Olympics in modern pentathlon, a native of Belarus, during a conversation with Gazeta.ru, commented on the situation in his homeland. What is happening in Belarus is a difficult topic for him.
“It’s bad. Is improvement possible? I hope so. I would not like to talk much about this, this is a difficult topic,” the athlete admitted.
Lesun also supported Krystsina Tsimanouskaya, a sprinter, who criticized Belarusian sports officials at the Olympics in Tokyo, got into a political scandal and, fearing to return to her homeland, was forced to receive political asylum in Poland. According to Aleksander Lesun, when talking about what happened, she kept silence about many other things. According to the Russian champion, athletes, like other Belarusians, are defenseless in Belarus.
“I think, she hasn’t told half of it yet. There is no way to protect, absolutely. Moreover, it’s not just about athletes, but no one can be protected at all,” Lesun is sure.
We recall that sprinter Krystsina Tsimanouskaya criticized the leadership of the athletics team at the Olympic Games when she learned that she had to run the 4×400 meters relay without her knowing, due to the fact that two athletes did not receive admission, as they did not have the necessary doping tests. The NOC stated that she was suspended from participating in the games due to her emotional and psychological state. On August 1, they tried to send Tsimanouskaya from Tokyo to Belarus, but the athlete refused to leave and turned to the Japanese police at the airport. She said that she was afraid to return to her homeland. Two days later, Tsimanouskaya flew to Poland, which offered her political asylum. Her husband, an athlete, also went to live with herю Since then, the couple has been living in Warsaw. An investigation into the incident in Tokyo is being processed.
Krystsina Tsimanouskaya was offered a help of the oil refining concern PKN Orlen in Poland, and she was taken to its athletics team. The athlete stated that she intends to continue to play for the Polish national team. But she is not going to renounce Belarusian citizenship.