Darya Dolidovich, a 17-year-old cross-country skier, has fled her native nation, Belarus, after being banned from her sport attributable to political beliefs, she informed Reuters.
Dolidovich and her father, Sergei Dolidovich — a retired seven-time Olympian cross-country skier, who’s additionally her coach — stated in a video interview that they’re in Warsaw, Poland to proceed the teenager’s coaching.
“Darya has been stripped of her proper to participate in competitions,” Dolidovich stated, including he believes his daughter was punished for his opposition views.
Sergei beforehand participated in avenue protests in opposition to the 2020 re-election of Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko, who’s now in his sixth time period in workplace. Worldwide voting displays have strongly questioned the legitimacy of Lukashenko’s victory with fraud suspected.
Within the video interview, Darya stated in January the Belarus Ski Union deactivated her FIS code, which is a person quantity assigned to athletes in an effort to take part in competitions run by the Worldwide Ski Federation (FIS).
The deactivation prevented her from competing on the 2022 Olympics in Beijing — though she had already certified for the Winter Video games.
Reuters reported that a number of prime Belarusian athletes have been jailed or kicked off nationwide groups for expressing opposition views and becoming a member of protests over Lukashenko’s re-election.
“I don’t see the potential of her persevering with her profession in Belarus,” Dolidovich stated about his daughter. “We may very well be accused of staging an illustration and shouting (opposition) slogans, then simply be despatched to jail. Three months in the past, I couldn’t have imagined, even in a nightmare, that I’d find yourself leaving my nation.”
In accordance with a Jan. 31 letter, Reuters reported that the Belarus Ski Union informed Dolidovich’s teaching employees that it deactivated her FIS code in December in response to a call by the Belarus Cross-Nation Snowboarding Federation. A motive for the deactivation was not offered.
The FIS informed Reuters it had requested extra details about Dolidovich’s deactivation, however didn’t hear again from Belarusian ski officers.
The Belarusian nationwide group in Beijing has confronted criticism after the defection of sprinter Krystsina Tsimanouskaya eventually yr’s COVID-19-postponed Tokyo Video games.
The Dolidovich household’s exit from Belarus got here after the US State Division stated final week that it has positioned visa bans on “a number of” Belarusians for assaults on dissidents, together with Tsimanouskaya.