Tokyo Olympics: Belarus coaches who tried to send Krystsina Tsimanouskaya home to be investigated

Krystsina Tsimanouskaya
Krystsina Tsimanouskaya was granted asylum by Poland

An investigation has been opened into two Belarus coaches who allegedly tried to force an athlete to fly home from the Tokyo Olympics.

Krystsina Tsimanouskaya said she was taken to the airport in Tokyo against her will after criticising her coaches.

The sprinter received police protection after voicing fears for her safety and was later granted asylum by Poland.

The International Olympic Committee and World Athletics have now opened a “formal procedure” into the matter.

The Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU) will conduct the investigation into the two coaches, who had their Olympic accreditations revoked and were removed from the Games.

“The IOC and World Athletics have jointly agreed to continue the investigation and to open a formal procedure vis-a-vis the two coaches,” said a statement.

“To this effect, and given that the Olympic Games have now concluded, it has been decided that the Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU) – the independent body created by World Athletics to manage all integrity issues (both doping-related and non-doping-related) for the sport of athletics – will conduct the procedure, with the full collaboration and support of the IOC.

“The AIU will publish the outcome of its investigation when this has been finalised.”

Tsimanouskaya, 24, alleged in a video posted online that she was entered into the 400m relay event at short notice by Belarusian officials, after some team-mates were found to be ineligible to compete.

State media criticised her after she posted the video, with one television channel saying she lacked “team spirit”.

She claimed officials came to her room and gave her an hour to pack her bags before being escorted to Tokyo’s Haneda airport.

Belarusian officials said Tsimanouskaya was taken off the team because of her “emotional and psychological condition”.