Belarus Olympic Coaches Stripped Of Accreditation By IOC Following Athlete ‘Kidnap Plot’
Two Belarus Olympic coaches have been stripped of their accreditation and will face disciplinary hearings for their alleged involvement in forcing a sprinter to return home.
The world was shocked when sprinter Krystsina Tsimanouskaya was forcibly taken to the airport by her coaches. The incident happened after the sprinter criticised the coaching staff publicly, and it seems to have had political repercussions in her home country of Belarus, which is experiencing tension because of alleged voter fraud.
Currently, protests are taking place as people believe the autocratic Belarusian government and President Alexander Lukashenko rigged an election. This has led to a violent response from the government.
Tsimanouskaya is now in Poland on a humanitarian visa, and the International Olympic Committee (IOC) is investigating what happened in the attempted kidnapping. Belarus coaches Artur Shumak and Yuri Moisevich now face continued disciplinary actions for their behaviour.
The two coaches ‘were requested to leave the Olympic Village immediately and have done so … in the interest of the wellbeing of the athletes’. Additionally, the coaches have had their Olympic accreditation removed, The Guardian reports. In a statement, the IOC has added that the coaches ‘will be offered an opportunity to be heard’.
NBC News reported that Krystsina told journalists about what happened before the scandal:
I never imagined this situation would turn into a political scandal. This was a dispute over the coaches forcing me to run a race I was not prepared for and which I had not trained for.
When discussing a potential return to her home country, Krystsina said that she will come back ‘when I know that it’s safe… maybe I’ll only be able to return after five or 10 years’.
Fortunately, the athlete has been warmly welcomed in Poland after the ordeal of an attempted kidnapping.
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