Two Belarus officials kicked out of Games

Krystsina Tsimanouskaya was forced to the airport against her will after a complaint.

Krystsina Tsimanouskaya was forced to the airport against her will after a complaint. Photo: Getty

Two Belarus Olympic officials involved in attempting to send sprinter Krystsina Tsimanouskaya home from the Tokyo Olympics have had their Games accreditation revoked.

The International Olympic Committee said on Friday Belarus athletics head coach Yuri Moisevich and team official Artur Shumak have also been taken out of the athletes village.

“In the interest of the wellbeing of the athletes of the National Olympic Committee of Belarus who are still in Tokyo and as a provisional measure, the IOC cancelled and removed last night the accreditations of the two coaches, Mr A. Shumak and Mr Y. Moisevich,” the IOC said in a statement.

“The two coaches were requested to leave the Olympic Village immediately and have done so. They will be offered an opportunity to be heard.”

The IOC launched disciplinary proceedings against the officials two days ago over their role in Tsimanouskaya’s refusal to return to Belarus, a case reminiscent of athletes’ defections during the Cold War.

The 24-year-old caused a furore on Sunday when she said coaches angry at her criticism over sporting issues had ordered her to pack and go to the airport before she even competed in Tokyo.

She refused to board a flight home and sought protection from Japanese police at the airport and then stayed at the Polish embassy for two nights before flying to the capital Warsaw via Vienna.

The sprinter has since been reunited with her husband Arseni Zhdanevich in Warsaw as the couple look to make a new life for themselves.

A trainer and a massage therapist, Zhdanevich runs a fitness business together with his wife.

“I hope that we can stay here and I will continue my sports career and my husband will be able to find a job here,” Tsimanouskaya told a news conference in Warsaw.

Tsimanouskaya, who said she had not been involved in politics in Belarus, had criticised negligence by her team coaches.

Subsequently, the Belarusian Olympic Committee had said coaches withdrew her from the Games on doctors’ advice about her emotional and psychological state.


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