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A Disciplinary Commission has been established by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to investigate the National Olympic Committee of the Republic of Belarus (NOCRB). Their role in Krystsina Tsimanouskaya being ordered to leave Tokyo after she criticised Belarusian coaches on social media.

She used her phone to translate a plea for help and showed it to Japanese police as she tried to avoid being forced onto a plane.

During a Warsaw news conference on Thursday, Tsimanouskaya said she was told to pack her bags on Sunday after she posted a message on social media criticising the way her team was being managed. She said team officials told her to say she was injured and had to go home early.

She spoke briefly to her grandmother, who said there was a massive backlash against her in the media in Belarus, including reports that she was mentally ill. Her grandmother advised her not to return. Her parents suggested she could go to Poland. 

Thomas Bach, IOC president said the IOC was very happy that Tsimanouskaya, who is now in Warsaw, Poland after being granted a humanitarian visa by the country, is safe and she is with her family after Belarusian coaches tried to send her home against her will.

Yuri Moisevich, the Belarus athletics head coach, and official Artur Shumak were requested to leave the Olympic Village immediately and have left.

The 24-year-old, who was forced to miss her 200m race on Monday, Aug. 2, alleges that Belarusian officials attempted to forcibly make her leave without her consent.

Although stripped of their accreditation, Moisevich and Shumak, were still able to have contact with Belarusian athletes.

The NOCRB has been hit with several sanctions by the IOC after failing to protect athletes who had protested against President Alexander Lukashenko.

Human rights and campaign groups said the Tsimanouskaya case amounted to kidnap and urged the IOC to suspend the NOCRB.

This is not the end of the Tsimanouskaya story and is a continuation of the NOCRB’s history of run-ins with the IOC.

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