Kuala Lumpur Post

Sports

Coach banned for 5 years for role in Tsimanouskaya Olympics scandal

MINSK — The former Belarus Olympic head coach Yury Moisevich has been banned for five years for his role in the events leading up to sprinter Krystsina Tsimanouskaya’s shock departure from the Tokyo Games in 2021, the Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU) said on Tuesday.

Moisevich was found by a disciplinary tribunal to be in breach of World Athletics’ Integrity Code of Conduct.

Tsimanouskaya refused to board a flight back home from Tokyo when she was removed from the Olympics against her will after publicly complaining about the decision by the national team’s coaches to enter her in the 4x400m relay, which was not her customary distance.

She defected to Poland, saying she feared for her safety if she returned to Belarus.

World Athletics cleared her to compete for Poland after waiving the normal three-year waiting period for nationality changes.

Moisevich’s actions were judged by the tribunal to be an abuse of power and while he was also found to have provided false or inaccurate information in the lead up to Tsimanouskaya’s departure from the Olympic Village, the AIU said.

The 63-year-old, who retired last May, “has been immediately barred from participation in any capacity in any aspect of athletics or any activity under the ambit of World Athletics or its Area Associations and Member Federations,” it added.

Moisevich was charged after Tsimanouskaya’s withdrawal was referred to the AIU by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and World Athletics (WA) on Sept. 30, 2021.

“This ruling represents a significant success for the rights of athletes in the sport of athletics,” AIU Chair David Howman said.

“The dignity of all athletes is of paramount importance and every attempt must be made to guarantee the environment in which they compete is free of harassment, abuse and bad faith dealings of any kind.” — Reuters