Olympic Sprinter Refuses to Board Flight to Home Over Fears of Facing Punishment in Her Country

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24-year-old Belarusian sprinter Krystsina Tsimanouskaya fears returning to her home country.

She refused to board a flight back home over the weekend, Fox News reported.

Team officials “made it clear” she would face discipline if she went back, the report adds.

This story shines a light on the disturbing practice embraced in some countries of punishing athletes who underperform at the Olympics.

Fortunately, Poland has granted her a humanitarian visa.

Tsimanouskaya says her coaches put her into an event she never trained for. She also says her coaching staff came to her room and told her to pack before hurrying her to an airport. They tried to put her on a plane back to Belarus, she claims.

“For now, the only thing that concerns me is my safety,” she says.

From Fox News:

Team officials “made it clear that, upon return home, I would definitely face some form of punishment,” she told the Associated Press. “There were also thinly disguised hints that more would await me.”

She hoped that she could continue her career once she found safety.

“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 adding, “for now, the only thing that concerns me is my safety.”

TRENDING 👇 Trump Critic Kathy Griffin Reveals Her Dark Past

Comedian Kathy Griffin gained political notoriety in 2017 after she “joked” about killing then-President Trump in a photo using a fake severed head of the former president.

The comedian, who is now 60, revealed she is battling stage one lung cancer. In an interview with ABC News, Griffin revealed much more about her past. Over the past four years, Griffin said her life spiraled after facing immense backlash for posing with a bloodied, severed fake head of then-President Trump. Griffin struggled with pill addiction and thoughts of suicide after posting the picture in 2017.

“I thought, ‘Well, I don’t even drink… Big deal, I take a couple pills now and again, who doesn’t?’” she told ABC News. “Also, my age was a big part of it. I mean, who bottoms out and tries to take their life at 59? It’s almost a joke, right, and by the way, someday, this will all be comedy. Trust me… I was laughing to stay alive. And what I found is I felt like if I can’t make others laugh, then there’s no purpose for me to live. There’s no reason for me to live.”

“I just felt there was impending doom,” she said. “I was already starting to think … it was time for me to go. And I was certainly being told by an awful lotta people it’s time for me to go.” More from Fox News:

After an apology and a subsequent rescinding of that apology, Griffin embarked on the cheekily titled “Laugh Your Head Off” tour in 2017. She noted that it was around that time that she was introduced to pills, leading to a behind-the-scenes battle that would ultimately lead to a suicide attempt…

She was first prescribed Provigil by a doctor. That was soon followed by a prescription to Ambien to help her sleep followed by painkillers to help her manage various injuries. The star says that her dependence on pills “got out of control very rapidly.”

Her addiction quickly led to thoughts of suicide. She says that her life was dedicated to getting on stage and showing people how resilient she was. However, amid the immense backlash from the Trump photo, she revealed that she started to feel her critics were right and that there was no next chapter in her career or life.