The United States Government announced that it is imposing visa restrictions on Belarusians officials tried to forcibly get Krystsina Tsimanouskaya to leave Tokyo 2020 last year ©Getty Images

Sprinter Krystsina Tsimanouskaya has called for further action from the International Olympic Committee (IOC) after the United States imposed sanctions on Belarus to help prevent "transnational repression".

Belarus is fielding a 28-strong squad for the Winter Olympics here with the IOC opting not to formally suspend the National Olympic Committee of the Republic of Belarus (NOCRB) despite the political discrimination against several athletes in the nation.

Tsimanouskaya defected from Belarus to Poland after team officials tried to forcibly send her home from last year’s Olympics in Tokyo against her will following her public criticism of her coaches.

Last month, Belarus reportedly banned cross-country skiers Sviatlana Andryiuk and Darya Dolidovich from international competition after accusing them of being supporters of the political opposition to the Alexander Lukashenko-led regime in the country.

World freestyle skiing champion Aliaksandra Ramanouskaya was also detained by police in Belarus last November for violating anti-protest laws.

United States Secretary of State Antony Blinken released a statement, promising America will "stand in solidarity with Ms Tsimanouskaya and all others who have experienced the regime's attempts to silence criticism".

The US Department of State has announced that it is imposing visa restrictions on Belarusians to counter transnational repression under the "Khashoggi Ban".

Established last year following the murder of Saudi journalist Saudi Arabian journalist and dissident Jamal Khashoggi, the ban restricts visas to anyone who, acting for a foreign Government, engages in "counter-dissident activities".

Krystsina Tsimanouskaya has switched nationalities from Belarussian to Polish  ©Getty Images
Krystsina Tsimanouskaya has switched nationalities from Belarussian to Polish ©Getty Images

Blinken has pledged to target "multiple" Belarussians for their "involvement in serious, extraterritorial counter-dissident activity".

"The United States condemns all such activity, including the attempt to forcibly repatriate Belarusian Olympian Krystsina Tsimanouskaya during the Tokyo Summer Olympic Games last year," said Blinken.

"This action is part of a comprehensive effort to prevent and respond to acts of transnational repression by any government targeting journalists, activists, and dissidents for abuse, bringing together diplomatic, law enforcement, and intelligence tools to deter repressive Governments and protect targeted individuals and groups, including within the United States."

Tsimanouskaya told news agency Reuters that she had made efforts to ensure the US would sanction those responsible for her being forced to miss the Olympics.

"They deprived me of my right to take part in the Olympic Games and I think that sanctions should be imposed against them," said Tsimanouskaya.

"I would also like the IOC and the International Federation [World Athletics] to respond to this case and make decisions regarding the people who participated in the attempt to remove me from Tokyo."

Belarus athletics head coach Yuri Moisevich and team official Artur Shumak were expelled from Tokyo 2020 after forcing Tsimanouskaya to board a flight home to Minsk.

The IOC launched an investigation into the NOCRB's role in the incident.

The NOCRB has been hit with several sanctions by the IOC after failing to protect athletes who had protested against President Lukashenko, who headed the organisation until being replaced by his son Viktor last year.

But the NOCRB has not been formally suspended by the IOC, with athletes still allowed to compete under the Belarussian flag at the Winter Olympics.