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Olympics: Two Belarus officials stripped of Games accreditation, sent home, says source

Olympics: Two Belarus officials stripped of Games accreditation, sent home, says source

Belarusian sprinter Krystsina Tsimanouskaya, who left the Olympic Games in Tokyo and seeks asylum in Poland, and Belarusian opposition politician Pavel Latushka attend a news conference in Warsaw, Poland August 5, 2021. REUTERS/Darek Golik

TOKYO : Two Belarus Olympic officials involved in attempting to force sprinter Krystsina Tsimanouskaya to return home from the Tokyo Olympics have had their Games accreditation revoked and will be leaving Tokyo, a person with direct knowledge of the matter said on Friday (Aug 6).

Artur Shumak and Yuri Moisevich, who had been named earlier in the week by the International Olympic Committee as being involved in the incident, had been taken out of the athletes' village where the teams stay at the Games, the person told Reuters.

The IOC had launched disciplinary proceedings against the two team officials two days ago.

"The two have had their accreditation removed," the person said, speaking on the condition of anonymity. "They have been taken out of the Olympic village and will be going home."

Tsimanouskaya arrived in Warsaw on Wednesday evening after she refused her coaches' instruction to return to her homeland. She sought Japanese police protection and was offered a humanitarian visa by Polish authorities.

The 24-year-old athlete's case could further isolate Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko, who is under Western sanctions after a crackdown on opponents since last year.

The sprinter 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 Warsaw via Vienna.

The Belarus National Olympic Committee (NOC) at the time had said coaches withdrew Tsimanouskaya from the Games on doctors' advice about her emotional and psychological state.

The Belarus Olympic team in Tokyo was not immediately available for comment on Friday.

Source: Reuters/ga

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