Sending Athletes Home, Two Belarus Coaches Expelled from the Olympics

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Two Belarus coaches have been expelled from the Tokyo Olympics for allegedly trying to force a runner to return home. The incident drew international condemnation.

International Olympic Committee (International Olympic Committe/IOC), Friday (6/8), said it had revoked the accreditation of Artur Shimak and Yury Maisevich. Both have left the Olympic athletes village.

The agency said this week it was investigating the two coaches for their role in the case of sprinter Krystsina Tsimanouskaya, who sought refuge at Tokyo airport to avoid being sent home.

He said he feared for his fate if forced to return to Belarus, wracked by political upheaval and a crackdown on dissent, after the disputed elections. The election returned strongman Alexander Lukashenko to power last year.

Tsimanouskaya is one of more than 2,000 Belarusian athletes who signed an open letter calling for new elections and the release of political prisoners.

However, trouble in Tokyo came after he posted a post on his Instagram, criticizing his coach for including him in the race without notifying him in advance. [ps/ft]

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