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Tokyo 2020 Olympics

Poland grants visa to Belarus athlete seeking asylum

Polish official confirms first Tokyo Olympics defection

Belarusian sprinter Krystsina Tsimanouskaya talks with police officers at Haneda international airport in Tokyo on Sunday.   © Reuters

TOKYO -- A Belarusian athlete at the Tokyo Olympic Games has been granted a "humanitarian visa" by Poland, a senior official of the European country tweeted on Monday, after she expressed her desire to defect and entered the Polish embassy.

"Kryscina Tsimanouskaya a Belarusian athlet[e] is already in direct contact with Polish diplomats in Tokyo. She has received a humanitarian visa," tweeted Marcin Przydacz, the undersecretary of state for security at Poland's foreign ministry. "Poland will do whatever is necessary to help her to continue her sporting career." He added a picture of the Polish flag and tweeted after that image that "[Poland] always stands for Solidarity."

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