Belarusian sprinter Krystsina Tsimanouskaya
Krystsina Tsimanouskaya said she had been taken to the airport against her wishes and would not return home.
  • Two Belarus team coaches have been kicked out of the 2020 Tokyo Games.
  • They tried to send an athlete back home after she criticized her coaches on social media.
  • The International Olympic Committee said it is investigating the situation.
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Four days after trying to send Belarusan sprinter Krystsina Tsimanouskaya back home, two Belarus team coaches were stripped of their credentials by the International Olympic Committee and removed from the Tokyo Games.

Artur Shimak and Yury Maisevich were "requested to leave the Olympic Village immediately and have done so," the IOC told the Associated Press on Friday, and said the move was made amid a formal investigation "in the interest of the wellbeing of the athletes."

Tsimanouskaya, a 24-year-old sprinter, had criticized the Belarus team coaches on social media earlier in the Games and refused to go home, before being granted a humanitarian visa by Poland.

The IOC linked the two coaches to the ploy to drive Tsimanouskaya in a car to the airport and send her back to Belarus, according to the AP. Tsimanouskaya feared would result in her jailing by the country's authoritarian leader, Aleksander Lukashenko, she told the Belarusian news agency

The Belarusian Olympic Committee said Shimak and Maisevich will return to the capital Minsk soon and have the right to appeal the decision, the AP reported.

Lukashenko led the country's Olympic committee from the 1990s until this year; his son Viktor was picked to replace him.

Belarus has been commonly referred to as Europe's last dictatorship, with a history of retaliation against those speaking out against the state, including the May diversion of a Ryanair passenger plane using a bogus bomb threat that resulted in a journalist's arrest.

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