Former Olympic swimmer Aliaksandra Herasimenia and sports official Alexander Opeykin have been sentenced to 12 years in prison in absentia by a court in the Belarusian capital of Minsk, Belarusian propaganda outlet BelTA said on Dec. 26.
They both were found guilty for "disseminating deliberately false information and fabrications about the events that took place on the territory of Belarus, about the course and results of the election campaign 2020," BelTA reported.
The court also seized the swimmer's property in Belarus – a car, a house, and her bank accounts.
Herasimenia and Opeikin co-founded the Belarusian Sport Solidarity Foundation (BSSF), which helps athletes who suffered from persecution by the dictatorial regime of Alexander Lukashenko. They both fled the country prior to their sentencing.
Herasimenia is a world and European champion, and a three-time Olympic medallist in swimming.
Earlier, the head of Ukraine’s Paralympic Committee, Valeriy Sushkevych, revealed that some pro-regime Belarusian athletes had urged their Ukrainian counterparts to surrender to Russia.