Wednesday 9/29/21
TOKYO OLYMPICS

Two Belarusian coaches removed from Olympic Village amid runner case

The IOC said that Artur Shimak and Yury Maisevich's accreditations were removed on Thursday night
05 August 2021, Poland, Warsaw: Belarusian sprinter Krystsina Tsimanouskaya speaks during a press conference in Warsaw after arriving on Wednesday evening. Timanovskaya was allegedly kidnapped by the Belarusian authorities in Tokyo in an attempt to force her to fly back to Belarus from the Olympic Games following comments she had made on social media criticizing the Belarusian coaches. Photo: Attila Husejnow/SOPA Images via ZUMA Press Wire/dpa
Belarusian sprinter Kristina Timanovskaya speaks during a press conference in Warsaw. Photo: Photo: Attila Husejnow/dpa.

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) on Friday said that it "cancelled and removed" the accreditations of the two Belarusian coaches amid the case of sprinter Kristina Timanovskaya.

The IOC said that Artur Shimak and Yury Maisevich's accreditations were removed on Thursday night and that they left the Olympic Village upon IOC request "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."

"They will be offered an opportunity to be heard," the IOC tweeted.

Timanovskaya was allegedly kidnapped by Belarusian authorities in Tokyo in an attempt to force her to fly back to Belarus from the Olympic Games following comments she had made on social media criticizing Belarusian coaches.

The IOC earlier in the week launched a formal investigation into Timanovskaya's case to "clarify the circumstances around the incident" and the roles played by Shimak, the deputy director of the national training centre, and Maisevich, Belarus's head athletics coach, the Olympic authority said.

Timanovskaya in Warsaw

The sprinter arrived in Warsaw on Wednesday after having been granted a humanitarian visa by Poland.

The Olympian told German tabloid Bild that her comments had not been of a political nature and that her only criticism was of the coaches deciding on the relay team without consulting the athletes. She never thought the incident could spiral so far and become a political scandal, she added.

Timanovskaya's rough treatment at the hands of her own country's sports authorities has shocked the international community.

The scandal could have serious consequences for Minsk.

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