Polish deputy FM: 'Belarus sprinter is safe'

Tsimanouskaya, 24, had been due to compete in the women's 200 meter heats on Monday but she said that on Sunday (August 1) she was taken to the airport to board a Turkish Airlines flight.

She then took refuge at the Polish embassy and is currently planning on flying to Warsaw in the coming days, according to the Polish official.

The incident during the Olympic Games has focused renewed attention on the political discord in Belarus, a former Soviet state that is run by President Alexander Lukashenko.

Police there have cracked down on dissent following a wave of protests triggered by an election last year which the opposition says was rigged to keep him in power.

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