All national dailies reported that a Belarusian sprinter taking part in the Tokyo Olympics who has refused to go home in defiance of an order from her own coach was granted a visa by the Polish government on Monday. Her custody was transferred to the Polish Embassy in Tokyo. She is reportedly seeking asylum on the grounds that she would be thrown into jail if she returned to Belarus.
Asahi said the athlete apparently chose to abandon her home country to escape from President Lukashenko’s iron-fisted rule, saying that the dictator has taken a high-handed approach even toward Olympic athletes in his own country. Since the U.S. and the Europeans are supportive of the sprinter, the daily projected that the matter may develop into a diplomatic hot potato.