Daily US Times: The International Olympics Committee (IOC) has expelled two Belarusian coaches after they allegedly attempting to force an athlete to leave the Games in Tokyo.
The IOC confirmed that Yury Maisevich and Artur Shimak had left the Olympic Village and an investigation into the matter is under way.
The case of Belarusian sprinter Krystina Timanovskaya caught global attention after she refused her team’s orders to fly home.
The athlete is now in Poland, where she has been granted a humanitarian visa.
Belarus says Krystina Timanovskaya was removed from the national team because of her emotional state. But she says this is not true, saying she was removed because she spoke on Instagram about the “negligence of [her] coaches”.
The IOC said in a statement that it had removed the accreditations of the two coaches “as a provisional measure… in the interest of the wellbeing of the athletes of the National Olympic Committee of Belarus who are still in Tokyo”.
IOC said the disciplinary commission had been established to investigate the matter and that both coaches would be “offered an opportunity to be heard”.
The case has again put the spotlight on Belarus, considered the only authoritarian country in Europe, which has been ruled by authoritarian President Alexander Lukashenko since 1994.
Last year, nationwide protests over Mr Lukashenko’s disputed re-election were violently repressed by the security forces.
The 24-year-old athlete’s removal came after the sprinter complained on social media about being entered into the 4x400m relay race at short notice, after some team-mates were found to be ineligible to compete.
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