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Belarus' Krystsina Tsimanouskaya races Spain's Maria Isabel Perez in the women's 100-meter heats. Photo: Giuseppe Cacace/AFP via Getty Images

Belarusian Olympic sprinter Krystsina Tsimanouskaya told AP on Tuesday that officials from her country made it clear that she "would definitely face some form of punishment" if she returned home.

State of play: Tsimanouskaya plans to seek refuge in Europe after claiming that she was taken to the Tokyo airport against her will after criticizing Belarusian coaches. Poland granted her a humanitarian visa on Monday.

What she's saying: "They made it clear that upon return home I would definitely face some form of punishment,” Tsimanouskaya told AP in an interview. "There were also thinly disguised hints that more would await me."

  • “For now I just want to safely arrive in Europe ... meet with people who have been helping me and make a decision what to do next,” Tsimanouskaya said in the interview.
  • Tsimanouskaya told AP that she believes she would be kicked off of the national team.
  • "I would very much like to continue my sporting career because I’m just 24 and I had plans for two more Olympics at least," she said. "For now, the only thing that concerns me is my safety."

Catch up quick: Tsimanouskaya, who was set to race in the 200-meter heats and the 4x400 relay, criticized "the negligence of our coaches" on Instagram, prompting her removal, according to the athlete.

Go deeper: Poland grants humanitarian visa to Belarus sprinter

Go deeper

Aug 6, 2021 - Sports

IOC removes two Belarus coaches in Tsimanouskaya case

Krystsina Tsimanouskaya during a press conference on Aug. 5. Photo: Attila Husejnow/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

The International Olympic Committee said Thursday it canceled and removed the accreditations of two Belarusian coaches over their suspected involvement in trying to send sprinter Krystsina Tsimanouskaya back to Belarus.

Driving the news: The coaches, Artur Shimak and Yury Maisevich, were asked to leave the Olympic village immediately "and have done so," the IOC said.

Updated Aug 8, 2021 - Sports

Olympics dashboard

Team USA's players celebrate their victory in their women's gold medal volleyball match against Brazil during the Olympic Games at Ariake Arena in Tokyo on Sunday. Photo: Yuri Cortez/AFP via Getty Images

🥇: U.S. clinches top Olympic gold spot after women's indoor volleyball team win

🏀: U.S. women's basketball scores 7th straight Olympic gold medal

🚴‍♀️: American Jennifer Valente wins final women's cycling gold of Tokyo Games

🤸🏿‍♀️: Biden lauds Biles for mental health "courage," praises Team USA in virtual meeting — Poll: Americans care about Olympians' mental health

🐎: Germany's modern pentathlon coach disqualified from Games for punching horse

Go deeper: Full Axios coverage

Gaming CEO calls on industry to help fight climate change

"Catalyst Black." Screenshot: Super Evil Megacorp

Gaming CEO Kristian Segerstrale is calling on leaders in his industry to take action on climate change, after completing a $1.4 million fundraising campaign this summer.

Why it matters: Gaming's pandemic-fueled boom creates an opportunity, and maybe even an obligation, to do some good.