Olympic chiefs have demanded an urgent report from Belarus on a sprinter who refused to be sent home before her heats after criticizing her coaches on social media. Krystsina Tsimanouskaya has taken refuge in the Polish embassy, under police protection, after claiming that her life would be in danger if she was returned to Belarus. The 24-year-old had been due to run in Monday’s 200-meter heats. On Tuesday, the International Olympic Committee said it had launched an investigation and asked the Belarus Olympic Committee for an urgent report. “We want it today. We have decided to launch a formal investigation. We need to establish the full facts. We need to hear everyone involved,” said IOC spokesman Mark Adams.
On Tuesday, reports emerged out of Kiev that an activist whose NGO helped Belarus dissidents escape from that country’s autocratic regime was found hanged in a city park. Police were investigating the death of Vitaly Shishov as a possible murder or suicide. Shishov’s Belarus House in Ukraine group had just helped Tsimanouskaya’s husband flee the country.