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Krystsina Tsimanouskaya during a press conference on Aug. 5. Photo: Attila Husejnow/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

The International Olympic Committee said Thursday it canceled and removed the accreditations of two Belarusian coaches over their suspected involvement in trying to send sprinter Krystsina Tsimanouskaya back to Belarus.

Driving the news: The coaches, Artur Shimak and Yury Maisevich, were asked to leave the Olympic village immediately "and have done so," the IOC said.

  • "In the interest of the wellbeing of the athletes of the NOC of Belarus who are still in Tokyo and as a provisional measure, the IOC cancelled and removed last night the accreditations of the two coaches, Mr A. Shimak and Mr Y. Maisevich," the IOC tweeted.
  • The move to send the two coaches home is a provisional measure while a formal investigation gets underway. Shimak and Maisevich "will be offered an opportunity to be heard," IOC said.
A tweet previously embedded here has been deleted or was tweeted from an account that has been suspended or deleted.

The big picture: Tsimanouskaya refused national team orders to return home to Belarus after officials took her to Tokyo's Haneda airport following her criticism of Belarusian coaches.

  • Tsimanouskaya arrived in Warsaw, Poland, on Thursday, where she reunited with her husband. The 24-year-old Olympian received a humanitarian visa from Poland after deciding to defect from her home country when she received a phone call from her grandmother telling her not to return, Reuters reported.
  • Tsimanouskaya said earlier this week that officials told her that she "would definitely face some form of punishment" if she returned home.
  • Belarus is in the midst of a political crisis, with leader Aleksandr Lukashenko cracking down on dissidents. Many critics have been detained or have fled the country in recent months.

Go deeper

Sep 6, 2021 - World

U.S., EU slam sentencing of Belarusian opposition leaders

Belarusian opposition activists Maxim Znak and Maria Kolesnikova appear for a sentencing hearing at the Minsk Region Court on Sept. 6. Photo: Ramil Nasibulin\TASS via Getty Images

A Belarusian court on Monday sentenced one of the leaders of last year's mass protests against authoritarian leader Aleksandr Lukashenko, prompting swift condemnation from the European Union and United States.

Driving the news: Maria Kolesnikova, who became one of the faces of the opposition movement in 2020, was sentenced to 11 years in prison, Reuters reported. Another opposition figure, Maxim Znak, was sentenced to 10 years.

Updated 53 mins ago - World

North Korea claims latest missile test new weapon launched from submarine

North Korean state media claims the country's military fired this missile on Tuesday. Photo: Korean Central News Agency

North Korean state media announced that a detected ballistic missile launch off its east coast on Tuesday was a newly developed weapon test-fired from a submarine.

Why it matters: Pyongyang's latest in a series of recent missile launches into the sea happened hours after U.S. officials emphasized their commitment to restart negotiations on North Korea's nuclear weapons program, which have stalled since talks broke down during the Trump administration, AP notes.

3 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Manchin's massive means test

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) is offering progressives a trade: He'll vote for their cherished social programs if they accept strict income caps for the recipients, people familiar with the matter tell Axios.

Why it matters: Manchin’s plan to use so-called means-testing for everything from paid family medical leave to elder and disabled care would drastically shrink the size and scope of the programs. It also would bring a key moderate vote to the progressive cause.